The South African U20 Women’s National Team, Basetsana, is hoping to rewrite the history books by grabbing the elusive spot in the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup.
The Maud Khumalo-led squad is the only South African National Team that has never qualified for a FIFA World Cup.
The journey to the promised land starts with a clash against Burundi in a two-legged World Cup qualifier on Sunday, 8 October and Wednesday, 11 October 2023, and kick off is at 15h00.
Both matches will take place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria due to Burundi’s venue not approved for competition.
The two countries enter the competition in the second round of qualifiers after receiving byes in the first round.
The 2024 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup has been expanded from 16 nations to 24 for the first time, giving the African continent four tickets.
2024 FIFA U20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SLOTS:
- AFC (Asia): 4 slots
- CAF (Africa): 4 slots
- CONCACAF (North America, Central America and the Caribbean): 4 slots
- CONMEBOL (South America): 5 slots (including hosts Colombia)
- OFC (Oceania): 2 slots
- UEFA (Europe): 5 slots
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL TEAMS FIFA WORLD CUP HISTORY:
- France 2019
- Australia and New Zealand 2023
- France 1998
- Japan and Korea 2002
- South Africa 2010
SA U20 Men:
- Malaysia 1997 ( FIFA World Youth Championship)
- Egypt 2009
- Korea Republic 2017
- Poland 2019
SA U17 Women:
- Trinidad and Tobago 2010
- Uruguay 2018
SA U17 Men:
- Chile 2015
“The U20 Women’s National team is under immense pressure, as this is our only national team that is yet to qualify for the FIFA World Cup but this is the year that we have to deliver. We have drawn a lot of inspiration from what the Senior National Team has achieved in the last two years, and have emphasized to the players that they are the next Banyana Banyana generation and that the journey starts here at U20,” Khumalo told SAFA.net
Basetsana held a week-long selection camp in August where 44 players were invited, before the squad was recently trimmed down to 23 players to face Burundi.
The selected have been hard at work preparing for the upcoming crucial matches.
“We have had a good week of training and have worked on areas that failed us in the past, therefore, we are confident that we will get good results against Burundi over the two legs. It is important that we take advantage of playing both matches at home because this is a blessing in disguise. We must take full advantage,” added Khumalo.
The winners in the clash between South Africa and Burundi will face the victorious country between Zambia and the DR Congo in the third round in November.
The following month (December) will see the remaining nations go toe to toe in the fourth and final round to decide the quartet that will represent the African continent in Colombia.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024 will be the 11th edition of the tournament – it runs from 31 August to 22 September.
Spain are the defending champions.
Alongside hosts Colombia, 11 other nations have already booked their tickets to the tournament, with 12 spots still up for grabs.
QUALIFIED NATIONS FOR THE 2024 FIFA U20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP:
- Colombia (Hosts)
- Costa Rica
- USA (Champions – 2002, 2008, 2012)
- Fiji (debut)
- New Zealand
- Austria (Debut)
- Germany (Champions – 2004, 2010, 2014)
- Spain (Champions – 2022)
SOUTH AFRICAN U20 WOMEN’S SQUAD TO FACE BURUNDI:
|1. CASEY GORDON||GK||JVW FC||GAUTENG|
|2. KGOMOTSO MSIMANG||GK||TS GALAXY FC||GAUTENG|
|3. NALEDI NKOSI||CB||SUPER STRIKERS FC||GAUTENG|
|4. MMABATHO MOGALE||DCM||TUKS FC||GAUTENG|
|5. PORTIA MASILELA||RB||HOME SWEEPERS FC||GAUTENG|
|6. NTHABISENG MAJIYA||FW||RICHMOND LADIES FC||NORTHERN CAPE|
|7. NOMPHELO YAKUPHI||LW||COPPERBELT FC||LIMPOPO|
|8. ADRIELE MIBE||LW||UJ FC||GAUTENG|
|9. CIMONE SAULS||LB||JVW FC||GAUTENG|
|10. LINDELWA MABUZA||CM||MAMELODI SUNDOWNS FC||GAUTENG|
|11. SANDRA MABI||LF||UJ FC||GAUTENG|
|12. AYANDA MKHIZE||DCM||DURBAN LADIES FC||KZN|
|13. ASANDA MCHUNU||RW||DLALA NTOMBAZANA FC||KZN|
|14. SINAMILE MKHWANAZI||CM||TUKS FC||GAUTENG|
|15. LONDEKA MKHWANAZI||FW||DLALA NTOMBAZANA FC||KZN|
|16. LUMKA QHEKEKA||RW||MAMELODI SUNDOWNS FC||GAUTENG|
|17. OLWETHU SOSIBO||CM||DLALA NTOMBAZANA||KZN|
|18. PERTULE PERTERSON||RW||TS GALAXY FC||GAUTENG|
|19. ZOE DE KOCK||FW||HOTSPURS FC||WESTERN CAPE|
|20. KUTLWANO MAPHANE||FW||MAMELODI SUNDOWNS FC||GAUTENG|
|21. MIHLE LUMKO||FW||HPC FC||GAUTENG|
|22. GOSITANG MOTSHEGWE||DCM||COAL CITY WIZRADS FC||MPUMALANGA|
|23. NTANDO PHAHLA||CB||SUNFLOWER||KZN|
By Matlhomola Morake