Banyana to face Costa Rica in international friendly ahead of World Cup

African champions Banyana Banyana will face Costa Rica in an international friendly at the Nga Puna Wai Sport Complex in Christchurch, New Zealand, on July 15, 2023. The match is part of Coach Desiree Ellis’ preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, 2023.

Ellis was looking forward to meeting a team that has qualified for the World Cup and that she expects to put her Sasol-sponsored charges through their paces before the tournament begins.
“I am really looking forward to the game against Costa Rica,” said the Banyana Banyana coach. “This will be our last game before the World Cup begins.

The team qualified through a tough campaign in the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) World Cup qualifiers. We are very much looking forward to the game and to finally being able to score our points just before the World Cup starts.”

Banyana Banyana have been drawn with Sweden, Italy and Argentina at the World Cup, and SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao said the Costa Ricans are ideal preparation for what awaits the South African senior women’s team in Group G.

“The friendly against Costa Rica is crucial for our preparation for this FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said SAFA CEO.

“We have set our sights higher in this tournament and the dress rehearsal against Costa Rica will give us a taste of one of our group opponents, Argentina.”

Coach Ellis’ charges, who won the biggest prize in women’s football on the continent in 2022 when they defeated Morocco in the WAFCON final, are making their second consecutive appearance at the World Cup after making their debut in France in 2019.

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