South Africa: Seoposenwe: South Africa Can Achieve The Impossible

Regrets? They have a few. But as South Africa and Italy prepare to do battle in Wellington, both retain at least some control over their destiny.

The Azzurre are sure to qualify with a victory and, unless Argentina cause an upset against Sweden, a draw would also be sufficient. For South Africa, anything less than victory will result in elimination.

The source of those regrets will, though, need addressing first. For the Italians, the defending of dead-ball situations is sure to have figured prominently in training after their set-piece nightmare against Sweden. Desiree Ellis, meanwhile, is likely to have introduced additional shooting practice – and perhaps some mental work on resilience – after seeing her side squander chances and surrender leads against both Argentina and the Swedes.

There have, though, been clear signs of progress, and Jermaine Seoposenwe – one of Banyana Banyana’s star players thus far – is keen to accentuate the positives.

“The things we are doing well are great,” she told FIFA. “You can see that we’re playing well together, and scoring goals too. In 2019, we only scored one, so you can see there’s been a lot of improvement in that area. But there are lot of things still to improve and so much work to be done.

“This game [against Italy] is another opportunity to go out there and show what this team is made of. I wouldn’t say everyone would want to be in our position – you’d rather be qualified already – but we have a great challenge in front of us. “It’s a case of: what edge can you bring to the game? What can you do for your team-mates? How can you change the game? It’s about how much you want it, and I think that mentality needs to sink in.

“Belief is also a big thing – belief that your team-mates are going to be there, do what’s needed, and belief that we can achieve the impossible. I fully believe in my team and I’m fully confident that, if we’re playing at 100 per cent, we are capable of anything.”

Seoposenwe knows too, though, that South Africa are not the only team with unrealised potential to realise – and a point to prove.

“I think any team, especially a world-class team like Italy, want to show that that a performance and loss like that doesn’t define them,” she said of the Azzurre’s 5-0 defeat to Sweden. “We need to expect them coming out all guns blazing because they’ll be trying to prove to themselves, to their country, that that is not who they are.”