Matlou and Nyandeni’s World Cup challenge
Banyana Banyana veteran Noko Matlou (33) said it would take something special for her to be selected to play again.
With the team having now qualified for the Women’s World Cup in France, which starts in June, senior players such as Matlou and Mpumi Nyandeni (31) face a mammoth challenge to fight for their place in the starting 11.
“It will take something special for me to play again,” said Matlou this week. “I was selected for the recently concluded Africa Women Cup of Nations [Awcon], so I can help to motivate the younger players.”
But she admitted that it would be up to Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis to decide what happens next.
Matlou said she would continue to work hard in the hope of making the cut for the World Cup squad of 22.
Matlou, who has played 147 matches and scored 63 goals, was hardly used during the recent Awcon tournament, held in Ghana, where the team lost to Nigeria on penalties after a goalless draw in the final.
She only made a cameo appearance in the final 23 minutes of the game.
Nyandeni played in the team’s second game against Equatorial Guinea and scored the second goal, before being substituted in the 61st minute.
She got another chance in the final game, where she came on to the field in the 73rd minute.
Nyandeni, who has scored 39 goals for Banyana Banyana, received her first national call-up in 2002, when Ellis was coming to the end of her playing days.
“I have played every big tournament – the Uefa Women’s Champions League, the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and Awcon. “Now the only thing missing is for me to play in the World Cup,” the JVW player said.
“I need to work hard to be part of the team that will go to the World Cup, and then work my way up to the starting 11.”
She also played for WFC Rossiyanka in Russia, but came back to South Africa in 2014.
Nyandeni, who has played 146 matches for the national team, revealed that, after the World Cup, she would retire from football.
GRAND FINALE Mpumi Nyandeni has appeared in all top women’s football tournaments and is keen to make her final mark as part of the Banyana World Cup team Veteran player Noko Matlou knows that hard work is necessary to secure herself a place in the Women’s World Cup squad HOPEFUL