Bantwana started their qualification campaign on a low and the coach is upbeat they can keep their India 2020 dreams alive
South Africa coach Simphiwe Dludlu has admitted that her side has a lot to do to reach the second round of the U17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers following their first-leg defeat against Zambia.
Bantwana are on the brink of crashing out of the qualification tournament after they suffered a 2-0 defeat in their first round, first-leg defeat at the Nkoloma Stadium on Saturday.
Dorica Malunga profited from South Africa’s defensive error to fire Zambia ahead in the 19th minute before Ester Banda scored two minutes before half time to hand the hosts’ victory in Lusaka.
Despite the first leg setback, the coach, who was not pleased with their loss, expressed confidence in her side’s ability to turn the tables around in a quest for progression in Johannesburg.
“We anticipated a tough match, playing Zambia is never an easy challenge,” Dludlu told Safa.net.
“We had a bad first half and it was evident that the players were a bit nervous playing in front of the noisy supporters of Chipolopolo.
“In development football, you talk, paint a picture and do. In a game, we have the chance to do those three things and apply them in a pressure game.
“They are already in the final stage where they have to do and find solutions for themselves on the field.
“If they don’t, it is either in-between your coaching or you wait for half time. In-between, you say it to get out because the pressure is still there.
“They only got to test themselves on the field and unfortunately in the first half, the score was 2-0.
“At half time, it is a matter of picking just two to three problems and say let’s improve that and never talk about the negatives. They get motivated and go better.
“We have a lot of work to do when we get back home as we believe that all is not lost. We will be beefing up our squad and of course working on areas that we lacked in today [Saturday].”
South Africa will host Zambia for the second leg on March 14 and need at least three goals to book a second-round spot.
The winner of the doubleheader will confront either Botswana and Morocco in the second round of their qualifying campaign in May.