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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Matlou happy to back with Banyana ahead of Burkina Faso tie

"We know what is expected from us and what we have to do is deliver positive results,” said Matlou.

As Caf Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) champions, it is important for Banyana Banyana to qualify for next year’s finals in Ivory Coast.

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This is according to veteran defender Noko Matlou. Matlou said this ahead the first leg of the final round of the Wafcon qualifier against Burkina Faso on Thursday.

“We are the champions and we have to go out there and defend our trophy. So, it is important for us to make sure that we beat Burkina Faso in the first leg. We know what is expected from us and what we have to do is deliver positive results,” said Matlou.

Having missed recent games for the national team, the Banyana and SD Eibar defender says she is happy to be back in the team and preparations for the match have been going well.

“I’m happy to be back after missing some of the international friendlies and qualifiers. I’m really excited to be back and training with the team. I’m just happy to be back with my teammates,” said Matlou.

“We are playing Burkina Faso and the coaches have done their homework on them and we will do exactly what they tell us to do in the game. It’s important to do well in the match especially since it’s an away game.”

Banyana made history by winning the Wafcon for the first time in 2022 in Morocco, with the South Africans beating the hosts 2-1 in the final.

They went on to display an unexpected performance at the Fifa Women’s World Cup by reaching the last 16-round of the competition.

Banyana will be expected to easily book their place at the Wafcon against a Burkina Faso side which only qualified for the tournament for the first time last year.

Burkina Faso will head into this match after beating eSwatini 6-2 on aggregate in the previous round of the qualifiers while Banyana received a bye.

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The return leg for this match will be played at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Monday, 4 December.

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