South Africa’s senior national women’s team are in South America, having lined up two international friendlies against the Chileans, who themselves had recently faced off against the mighty Americans, games which Van Wyk feels tonight’s opponents would have learnt a lot from.
“We are excited to play Chile,” she tells snl24.com/kickoff. “They’re a different opponent as we’ve never played them before. They’ve also currently just played the US national team, and even if they did not get good results against them, they still had the experience of playing against the world’s best, so they have that confidence behind them as well, having gone out and learnt a lot from those games.”
With Banyana set to test themselves against Africa’s best at thisyear’s African Women’s Championships (AWC), Van Wyk feels the double-header against Chile provides the side with ideal preparation ahead of the continental tournament in Ghana.
“We have to prepare well for the AWC, and I think Chile are a team that’s very physical which is exactly what we need because when we get to the AWC, we are going to be playing the likes of Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana – very physical opponents, so these Chile games will be good preparation for us,” she says.
Kick-off at Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar tonight is set for 18h30 local time (23h30 South African time), with the second game taking place at Estadio Santa Laura in Santiago on Tuesday.