For a number of years, South Africa has been flirting with conquering the CAF Africa Women’s Championship, but after making an appearance in three finals over the last 15 years, they still have nothing to show.
Banyana Banyana, as the South African team is known, have at times shown both promise and potential, but when it mattered most they have fallen short of finishing the job. But after a few oh-so-close encounters with fate, the South African contingent is now wiser. Ambitious captain Simphiwe Dludlu is adamant that they can exorcise their demons and turn their good performances into results when they host the 2010 version of the event starting on Sunday. However in order to claim the trophy that has eluded them for many years, the South Africans will have to explore on uncharted waters.
Turning the trend against Nigeria
In their group, the South Africans face seven-time continental champions, Nigeria's Super Falcons, who are known to be the dominant force in African football. The two sides have met a few times before, and consistently Nigeria have always enjoyed an upper hand. But Dludlu is of the opinion that they can now reverse that trend and establish a new era – one where Banyana can finally raise their hand as a powerhouse in women’s football. The belief in that possibility, Dludlu argues, is there more than before.
“We need to concentrate on getting results, that’s important,” Dludlu told FIFA.com recently. “We have Nigeria in our group, they have always given us problems, but we believe that this is our time to finally shine. We have to make sure that we make it to the final and win the championships.”
We can’t change what happened there. But we can erase such bad memories with positive results now.