Thembi Kgatlana insists Banyana Banyana’s goal is to qualify for the Olympics

Thembi Kgatlana insists Banyana Banyana’s goal is to qualify for the Olympics

UANL Tigres and Banyana Banyana striker Thembi Kgatlana says Banyana’s main objective is to secure a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games after missing out on the last Olympics in Tokyo.

Banyana will face Tanzania at 3 pm this afternoon at the Azam Complex Stadium in Dar es Salaam for the first leg of their third-round Olympic qualifier.

Banyana made their debut in the Olympics in 2012 and their second participation in the Games was in 2016 in Rio.

Kgatlana says they know how crucial it is to qualify for the Olympics.

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“Yeah, I mean we are very positive and I think that’s the energy that we need going to tomorrow’s [Friday’s] match. We know how important it is because the last time we couldn’t qualify for the Olympics. So, what we did this time around is to take it one match at a time and one opponent at a time,” Kgatlana said.

“So, tomorrow is a start of another new opponent which is Tanzania. We played in the field that we’re gonna play in tomorrow and I think the conditions are good, it’s a turf field, we have turf fields in South Africa. We were training now, preparing in a turf field so that when we get here the conditions are good for us.”

Kgatlana was the only goal scorer for Banyana in the second round of the Olympic qualifiers against Democratic Republic of Congo, having found the back of the net away at Stade des Martyrs and scored a brace at home in Orlando Stadium.

She, however, believes playing away is always challenging.

“It’s always difficult to play away based on the conditions and getting all your players to come in at the same time. So, this camp has been really good in terms of getting everyone right on time so that we are able to manage our players and to be able to be ready for the game. It’s not easy to play away, we’ve played the two games and we’ve struggled to get good points but they’ve helped us, two draws and every time we get at home it’s better for us because we are familiar with a lot of things,” she concluded.