News Live Scores
Friendlies Women

Banyana Banyana must be cautious against Japan - Van Wyk

23:09 GMT+3 25/10/2019
South Africa women - Banyana
The captain is upbeat about her side's chances against the Japanese but warned her side to avoid costly mistakes

South Africa defender Janine van Wyk has backed her side to put up a strong fight in their international friendly against Japan, billed for November 10 in Fukuoka.

The 2018 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up are hoping to recover from their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games miss with a test match against the Nadeshiko at the Kitakyushu Stadium.

In a build-up to next year's Awcon, Banyana Banyana will launch their qualification preparations with a warm-up game against the Olmpics hosts in Japan.

The Fortuna Hjorring defender has also warned Desiree Ellis' ladies against complacency, having seen Canada bow 4-0 in an international friendly early in October at the same venue.

"It is fantastic that we are getting international friendly matches against quality opponents like Japan, and I think it is going to be a very tough encounter," Van Wyk told Safa.net.

"They recently played Canada and beat them 4-0, so it is a huge task ahead of us. We haven’t been in camp for a while so that is a challenge in itself but everyone is going to be excited to come together and play some games. 

"After the loss against Botswana, players will want to prove a point that it was a fluke and that if you don’t take your chances you will lose games. 

"Hopefully, against a strong opponent like Japan, we will come up with a good result to give us that confidence boost once again within ourselves as the national team and know that we are still a quality team that will put up a fight against any major team that we face."

The Banyana captain had missed Olympic qualifier defeat to neighbours Botswana following an injury picked during the Cosafa Women's Championship staged on home ground in August.

Van Wyk believes the women's game in South Africa has enjoyed a massive leap since they last met the 2011 World Cup winners at the London 2012 Olympic Games which ended in a goalless draw.

"Women's football has grown so much since London 2012, I think both teams have changed a lot," she continued.

"However, I think Japan is a very well disciplined, organised team that would probably keep their style because of the strength that they have and talents within their players and their setup.

"I think with Banyana Banyana the team has changed a lot, new coaches have come in and we have experienced a lot going into the Olympic Games in 2016, qualifying for the World Cup in France – so we have a lot experience compared to 2012, which is a plus for us. 

"But what sets us back is that we haven’t played in a while since our game against Botswana, and since the World Cup we haven’t played a top-end team, and Japan will really be a test for us because they are really a good team that will make sure that no one beats them at home, and that is how they are if you have seen the results again a top team like Canada. 

"We need to be really cautious in what we do and how we approach the game but I think it will be a good test for both sides to see where we are and where they are at."