Lebohang Ramalepe ready for tough Olympic Qualifier against Nigeria

Lebohang Ramalepe ready for tough Olympic Qualifier against Nigeria

Banyana Banyana defender Lebohang Ramalepe insists they must go all out when they face Nigeria in their final CAF Olympic Qualifier clash.

The Super Falcons and Banyana will meet for the first time since the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations [WAFCON] for a two-legged fixture with the first leg in Abuja on 05 April with the return leg at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on 09 April.

READ: Ernst Middendorp remains defiant following Cape Town Spurs setback

Ramalepe says this game is a do-or-die for the national team.

''This coming game is a tough one, remember some of us missed the last Olympics. It's a do or  die kind of a match, we know how important a win is and we will give our best,'' said Ramalepe.

In their second Olympic Qualifier against Tanzania, the African Champions sealed the victory on the first leg by winning 3-0 away at Azam Sports Complex and Ramalepe says playing the first leg away in Nigeria may be an advantage for them.

''Personally I feel that starting with an away leg is an advantage for us. Remember when go back to play at home you still have the home advantage,'' she added

These two nations last met in the group stages of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2022, where Banyana secured a 2-1 victory and went on to win the tournament. The Mamelodi Sundowns defender says this result will not count as both teams will be fighting to go to the Olympics.

''It is a new challenge for both teams, and we know how important this game is. We put the past behind and make sure we approach this game differently,'' she concluded. 

The Banyana team that will face Nigeria has a mixture of experienced and young players, the 32-year-old who’s represented South Africa in two World Cups says they motivate young players to do well because of how crucial it is to qualify for the Olympics.