Banyana Banyana will be able to breathe a bit easier at the 2023 Women’s World Cup compared to the 2019 tournament, where all three of their group opponents were among the top 15 Fifa-ranked nations.
At the 2023 tournament, South Africa’s opponents are all ranked within the top 29 by Fifa. South Africa, ranked 54 in the world, will face Sweden (2), Italy (14) and Argentina (ranked 14) in Group G. (29).
In 2019, South Africa’s group opponents comprised two top-six ranked nations, Germany and Spain, while China was ranked 15th. South Africa scored one pathetic goal and allowed eight. The highlight of 2019 was scoring the first goal against Spain in the 28th minute. They kept the advantage until the 69th minute, when Spain was granted two penalty kicks in rapid succession en route to a 3-1 victory.
This season, instead of facing two top-six ranked opponents, the top two teams are ranked 14th and 29th, respectively. Due to Sweden’s position as the second-best team in the world, many Banyana fans may believe that the group is a “Group of Death.” Europe is firmly established as the axis of women’s football, with 12 countries in the world’s top 20 rated nations.
The South Africans have not defeated a top 50-ranked team in the past two years, with the exception of Nigeria, which is ranked number 45 in the world.
In addition to African opponents, South Africa faced Brazil (9), Australia (13), and the Netherlands this year (8). Each of these three countries pummeled them severely. After four matches, the cumulative goal total was 18-2. (5-1, 6-0, 3-0, 4-1). This was a dismal performance versus European nations, and two of the games were played at home.
A realistic goal for the Sasol-sponsored South African team at the World Cup would be to win one match, which would be considered a historical achievement. Expecting to advance beyond the group phase would be unrealistic.
Yesterday, SA coach Desiree Ellis attended the Women’s World Cup 2023 draw in New Zealand. In July 2023, New Zealand and Australia will co-host the 2023 World Cup, in which 32 nations will compete for the first time. The event will be co-hosted for the first time; previously, just 24 teams participated.
We have previously competed against Sweden, but not Italy or Argentina. It could have been more difficult, but we are pleased.
“When it comes to Sweden, we have faced the Netherlands, and the two teams are comparable. In addition, we have played against Brazil, which is comparable to Argentina. Italy and the Netherlands come from the same continent, although they may be different styles of teams.”
In 2019, South Africa played Sweden in a friendly in Cape Town, which concluded 0-0.