South Africa will play in its first ever Women’s World Cup this summer in France. The debut comes 21 years after the men’s team premiered on the world stage at the 1998 tournament, also in France. South Africa has been a regional success and has gotten used to dominating some of the other teams on the continent, but this team will be tested like never before on the biggest of stages. With Germany the last match of the group stage, this team will likely need four points from the first couple games to have much of a chance to move on.
For the tournament’s full schedule, standings and more click.
Here’s the roster, the team’s history at the World Cup and more.
Goalkeepers: Mapaseka Mpuru (University of Pretoria), Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kaylin Swart (Golden Stars)
Defenders: Lebogang Ramalepe (MaIndies), Nothando Vilakazi (Gintra Universitetas), Noko Matlou (MaIndies), Janine van Wyk (JVW), Bambanani Mbane (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tiisetso Makhubela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongeka Gamede (University of the Western Cape)
Midfielders: Mamello Makhabane (JVW), Karabo Dhlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Linda Motlhalo (Beijing Phoenix), Refiloe Jane (no club affiliation), Leandra Smeda (Vittsjö), Kholosa Biyana (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Busisiwe Ndimeni (Tshwane University of Technology), Sibulele Holweni (Sophakama Ladies/HPC)
Forwards: Ode Fulutudilu (Málaga), Amanda Mthandi (University of Johannesburg), Thembi Kgatlana (Beijing Phoenix), Jermaine Seoposenwe (Gintra Universitetas), Rhoda Mulaudzi (no club affiliation)
World Cup appearances: Zero
Best finish: N/A
Last World Cup: N/A
Saturday, June 8
Spain vs. South Africa, Noon ET, Fox
Thursday, June 13
South Africa vs. China, 3 p.m. ET, Fox
Monday, June 17
South Africa vs. Germany, Noon ET, Fox
What to know
This team isn’t expected to sniff a round of 16 spot, but if the team can it will have to be behind the play of Thembi Kgatlana. She’s a gifted forward who plays for the Houston Dash. Young, speedy but raw, she can produce moments of magic and was the top scorer at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations last year. If she’s in top form, the Bafana Bafana have a chance.
How to watch
You can watch the entire tournament on fuboTV (Try for free).