Vera Pauw proud of Banyana Banyana despite defeat


With South Africa ranked 52nd, many had expected a hiding from the top-ranked reigning Olympic and World Champions, yet the South Africans held their own to only lose by a solitary goal.

“It is the first time in my career that I can say to my team ‘congratulations and I am proud’ despite a defeat,” Pauw said.

“However, we need to realise that at this level the few chances you get you have to go for goal, and we didn’t do so. We have been working on that for a long time, and during pressure times if you don’t have the guts to fail, you will never succeed.”

Team captain Janine van Wyk echoed her sentiments.

“It was the most incredible game, with an interesting atmosphere at the stadium, and the overall performance of the team was incredible,” she said. “Credit goes to all the players as they really played their part.

“Even though we came out defeated, I think it was still an amazing result for us against the World Champions. We saw some of their matches where they beat teams by high margins and we thought they would come out and hammer us, but we kept our cool. Overall we did extremely great against the World’s best and we can only improve from here on.”

Pauw says she has seen a visible improvement from her charges which she feels bodes well for the future.

“The biggest win for us today is that against the World Champions we were able to push them into their own half,” she said. “I am excited because you can see the difference between this team now and about a month ago against the Netherlands, we have made immense improvement.”

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