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27 Oct 2012 21:50
Banyana Banyana's Portia Modise. (Gallo)
The last time the two nations met was during the semifinals of the seventh edition of the tournament in Ekurhuleni two years back. The South Africans claimed the bronze medal in that competition, after going down to this year's hosts Equatorial Guinea in the semifinals.
The South Africans completed a six-day camp in Yaounde, Cameroon, where they acclimatised themselves to the West African conditions they are expected to face in Equatorial Guinea.
Modise said that it would be an honour to make her 100th appearance for the national team and she would be out to do her best against Equatorial Guinea in the opening match.
"I made my Banyana Banyana debut back in 1999 and it's exciting that I have come this far in the national team," said Modise, who has scored 73 goals at international level.
"I know the match against Equatorial Guinea will be tough in that we're playing the hosts on their home turf.
I missed out on competing against Equatorial Guinea in 2010 and 2008, so I'm hoping to score and put our team ahead in the competition."
Reaching the finals
South Africa face Senegal in the second group stage encounter in Malabo on Wednesday, before travelling to Bata for their final group stage encounter with Democratic Republic of Congo on November 3.
The semifinals will take place in either Malabo or Bata on November 7, with the third/fourth place playoff and the title decider both scheduled for Malabo on November 11.
Head coach, Joseph Mkhonza said his squad was ready for the competition, having acclimatised to the West African conditions.
"We are here now looking for positive results and we are aware that the hosts will have the home crowd behind them," said Mkhonza.
"We have put the result of 2010 behind us and this will be a different game now as we hope to achieve success throughout the tournament ... It's a great achievement for Portia Modise to have made it this far in national team colours. We are approaching this game as a team and hoping that her experience will help us achieve the targeted results," said Mkhonza. – Sapa
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