Banyana aim to go to Paris after missing out on Tokyo Olympics – Biyana
National team wants to complete puzzle with Games after being in two big tourneys
Banyana Banyana’s failure to qualify for the previous Olympics, staged in Japan’s Tokyo in 2020, is one of the reasons they aim to go all out to make sure they book their slot in their next edition of the Games in Paris, France next year.
This is according to midfield workaholic Kholosa Biyana as Banyana take on DR Congo in the first leg of the CAF Olympics qualifiers second round in Kinshasa today (4.30pm SA time). The second leg is billed for Orlando Stadium on Monday (3pm).
“The fact that we didn’t qualify for the last Olympics is a big motivation for us to try and push to make sure we qualify this time around. It was very sad when we failed to qualify and most people that were there are still here,” Biyana said.
After winning their maiden Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) title in Morocco in July last year, before reaching the round of 16 at the World Cup for the first time in Australia and New Zealand 13 months later, the current Banyana group aims to maintain that brilliant form in big competitions and complete the puzzle by going to the Games, Biyana revealed.
“Qualifying for the Olympics is the box that we need to tick as we’ve been to the Afcon and the World Cup and did so well. It’s important for us to continue with that form,” Biyana said.
Banyana, who have been to two Olympics already, failed to qualify for the previous edition as a result of losing 3-2 on penalties to neighbours Botswana in the second round of the qualifiers after the second leg at FNB Stadium had ended goalless after 120 minutes. The away leg had also finished 0-0.
The four winners of the fourth round will represent Africa in Paris next year. Should Banyana qualify, they will attempt to get out of the group phase for the first time after they crashed out of the Games in the group stages in both their appearances in London and Rio in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
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