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Banyana’s Magaia assures nation to count on her

SA aim to use home advantage to see off DR Congo in qualifier

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Banyana Banyana'd Hildah Magaia
Banyana Banyana'd Hildah Magaia
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Nicknamed “Breadwinner” because of always carrying Banyana Banyana on her shoulders in crucial fixtures, striker Hildah Magaia has once again put her head on the block, saying the nation can trust her that she will do the job against DR Congo.

Banyana host DR Congo in the second leg of the CAF Olympics qualifiers second round at Orlando Stadium on Monday (3pm). The first leg finished 1-all, with Thembi Kgatlana netting the all-important away goal for SA in Kinshasa last Wednesday.

“My job is to play for the national team...make the nation happy, so the nation can rely on me as the breadwinner. I will always do my best for the team,” said Magaia, who scored a brace against Morocco in the Wafcon final in Rabat in July last year to make Banyana the African champions for the first time ever.

Magaia banks on the home ground advantage against DRC, suggesting the heat and playing on the artificial turf were unbearable in Kinshasa. The 28-year-old striker, who plies her trade in South Korea for Sejong Sportstoto, also scored two goals in the World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, where Banyana reached the round of 16 for the first time ever in August this year.

“I mean, we are home, so it's not going to be easy for them [DRC). Playing away is always a problem. In Congo we encountered heat and we also played on artificial grass. I believe that being at home will bring the best out of us,” Breadwinner said.

Magaia also emphasised the importance of keeping a clean sheet today, saying the away goal they scored put them in a favourable position to progress to the penultimate round of the qualifiers for the Games, to be in Paris next year.

“It’s very, very important for us to keep the clean sheet even, so that we can have the upper hand. I believe that we are one foot in the next round and we will work hard as a team to go in with two feet in,” Magaia said.

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