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Banyana won’t take Algeria lightly for the Afcon qualifier

Banyana Banyana is aiming for a home win as they clash with Algeria in the first leg of the final round of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifying round with Algeria on Friday at Orlando Stadium.

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Algeria is not one of the powerhouses in women’s football on the continent, but they have competed in the Women’s Afcon five times since 2004. But on all five occasions, the North African nations were eliminated in the group stage.

And with 12 appearances at the tournament for the South Africans and five runner ups, the last time being in 2018, where Banyana lost on penalties from Nigeria – on paper, Desiree Ellis’ charges against the Fennecs seem to have the upper hand. But football can be brutal as Banyana lost their friendly against Zambia 3-0 last week.

However, the Banyana coach knows not to take their opponents for granted and says they have done their homework on the Algerians.

“We’ve seen a little bit of Algeria, but I’m sure they’ve seen us too. So we had to work on a few things that we needed to move forward. It’s looking good so far. We’re very excited, the players are watching very eagerly and we know it’s a big game for us it’s our biggest game we’ve played before we were in a similar situation we had to win to get to the semi-finals i think it’s Afcon was in Namibia in 2014 and it’s a game where Portia Modise scored her 101st goal,” said Ellis.

“So we’re in a similar situation, we’ve been in this situation a few times, where it’s a must to win. We know the Afcon showed us that you underestimate a team at your own risk. Football in Algeria has a huge pedigree and we have to make sure we execute on our plan, keep a clean sheet and win the battle half way.” Back in Namibia was the last time the teams met and Banyana won 5-1 thanks to a brace from Modise and a goal from Amanda Dlamini, Sanah Mollo and Mamello Makhabane, who is in the current Banyana roster.

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