EXTRA TIME: Looking forward to Banyana facing Sweden

Thembi Kgatlana and Leandra Smeda of South Africa, Banyana Banyana
The Sweden Women’s National Team says they are proud to have been invited to come and play in South Africa

The South Africa Football Association released the following interview on this weekend's big game:

The Europeans are the second team to have come to this shores to face the South African Senior Women’s National Team – the other being The Netherlands.

Banyana Banyana and Sweden meet in an international friendly match on Sunday, 21 January at the Cape Town Stadium. Kickoff is at 14h00.

“I am very proud to be here in South Africa, a country with a great history and a man that is known the world over, Nelson Mandela. We hope that we will have an opportunity to educate the team about the history of South Africa. I am also proud to meet the best women’s team in Africa,” Sweden head coach Peter Gerhardsson addressing the media in Cape Town.

“We are in preparations for the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup. We have three wins, even though we played only two matches (one match we did not play because the opponents didn’t show up, Denmark – those are not the kind of victories we want, we rather play football). It’s going to be fantastic to play in this wonderful venue, I hope the fans will come in numbers. Based on the media turnout, there is a huge interest in this game. I now understand this is a big game, not only for us but also for South Africa.”

The two countries have met on two previous occasions – with Sweden winning the two encounters.

The last match was at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I am really looking forward to play in this game, and I see there is a huge interest. Coming here to the press conference I asked the team manager if there will be some media, and he said maybe one or two – I guess we were wrong. It’s very good of you all to be here and also for us to be able to play at his amazing stadium,” said team captain Caroline Seger.

“I hope it’s going to be a good game. We played South Africa at the 2016 Rio Olympics, our first game – and I remember it was a very tough game. It was not until the final minutes that we scored, and thank you for helping us to reach the final. Just being in South Africa has been a dream for me, so I am happy to be here. Hopefully a lot of people will come and see a good game. Thanks to everyone for making this happen.”

Ranked 10th in the world and 5th in Europe, Sweden won the European Competition for Women’s in 1984 and won silver in the World Cup in 2003.

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The team has participated in six Olmpic Games, seven World Cup tournaments as well as nine European Championships.