Banyana Banyana striker Andisiwe Mgcoyi is confident they will do well against France when they meet in an international friendly match on Sunday, 22 January in Saint-Denis, Reunion Islands.
Kickoff is at 19h00.
The Europeans are ranked 3rd in the world and 2nd in EUFA while South Africa is ranked 5th on the continent and 51st in the world.
Mgcoyi says playing against top nations can only do wonders for the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana.
“This game is good for us because France is up there with the best, and playing against them will really help our game improve even more. Some of the players in the current Banyana Banyana squad faced the likes of New Zealand, USA and the Netherlands, and you could see how that helped lift their performance at the Olympic Games in Brazil where they also played other big guns like Brazil, Sweden and China. So this game is really crucial for us to try and improve as much as we can. We know it will not be easy but we are up for the task,” said Mgcoyi after their training session in Johannesburg.
The Mamelodi Sundowns striker missed out on the Olympics but was part of the squad that was in Cameroon for the 2016 CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
Mgcoyi admits that lack of goals at the tournament was their downfall.
“After the AWCON, where we finished fourth, and I think mainly because we didn’t score goals, I went back home and had a good look at my performance. If you think about it, at the Sasol League games I score many goals and I asked myself what could be the reason. The fact is that the standard of the league and international matches are very different, but we cannot use that as an excuse, we have to work harder until we get it right,” added Mgcoyi.
“We play well in the national team but don’t convert our chances, which is something we have been focusing on. As a striker I have to score goals because that is the job I have been called up for – and we must remember that scoring goals starts at training and it will be easier in the games, so it is all work in progress. But we are confident we will get a good result against France.”
The South African Senior Women’s National Team will have their final training session on home soil on Wednesday, 18 January before jetting off to Reunion Islands on Thursday, 19 January.
This will be the second meeting between the two nations – France won the first clash 3-2 back in 2009.