The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana qualified for the tournament after defeating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 on Sunday, 18 October 2015 at Estadio de Bata in Equatorial Guinea, where Jermaine Seoposenwe’s goal in the 62nd minute was the business that sealed the deal for South Africa.
“This is a historic day for women football; not only have they qualified for the Rio Olympics but have done so in style – winning away from home in ‘hostile’ Bata environment.”
“The team showed amazing character and I, on behalf of the entire South African football family, would like to urge the team to continue building on this remarkable feat. They must now dominate continental football and work on being among the top sides in the world. They have the capacity and character to do so,” added Dr Jordaan.
Sasol Executive Vice President Energy Business, Maurice Radebe, also lauded Banyana Banyana’s qualification saying:
“We at Sasol are immensely proud of Banyana Banyana’s win against Equatorial Guinea and their resulting qualification for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. We are delighted to partner with SAFA in empowering women through sport, by injecting our support and resources to this passionate and vision-driven team. To this end, we are proud to announce that Sasol is awarding a bonus of R500 000 to the team for their qualification of the 2016 Olympic Games. We have no doubt that they will represent the country well in Brazil in 2016,” said Radebe.
Given the quality of their opponents, the road to the Rio 2016 qualification was not an easy one but the team’s focus and determination saw them conquer opponents in all of their qualifying matches, barring their home game against Equatorial Guinea which ended in a 0-0 draw at Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa in early October.
“We are absolutely ecstatic on the win. Credit to all staff who are always working tirelessly for the players. These smiles will not go off our faces soon,” said Banyana Banyana Head Coach, Vera Pauw.
Amidst the celebrations, it was already back to the boardroom a day after the team’s return from Equatorial Guinea, with Pauw confirming that the planning for Rio 2016 had already commenced.
“We deserved to enjoy this magic moment. Now the real work begins. We have already designed our preparation framework and our first planning meeting takes place immediately after the press conference on Wednesday,” concluded Pauw.
The Rio 2016 qualification is Banyana Banyana’s second entry into the Olympic Games after qualifying for the global event in 2012 as well. Having been knocked out of the group stages during the 2012 Olympic Games, Banyana Banyana will focus their efforts on progressing to the knockout stages and beyond in Brazil in 2016.
Banyana Banyana’s Road to Qualification
South Africa received a pass in Round 1 due to their top 3 placement in African Women’s Championships.
Round 2 - Gabon
• Away - Gabon 2- 3 SA
Saturday 23rd May 2015 Libreville, Gabon
• Home - SA 5 – 0 Gabon
Sunday 31st May 2015 Dobsonville Stadium
Round 3 - Kenya
• Home SA 1– 0 Kenya
Saturday 18th July 2015 Dobsonville stadium
• Away Kenya 0 – 1 SA
Sunday 02 August 2015 Machakos Stadium
Round 4 - Equatorial Guinea
• Home SA 0 - 0 EQG
Saturday, 03rd October 2015 Makhulong Stadium, Tembisa
• Away EQG 0 - 1 SA
Sunday, 18th October 2015 Estadio de Bata, Equatorial Guinea