Voted As the 2022 CAF African Women’s Cup of Nations Goalkeeper of the Tournament, Banyana Banyana’s Andile Dlamini says playing in front of Moroccans felt like playing at home.
The Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies keeper helped the Southern Africans to clinch their first ever continental crown as they downed the hosts, Morocco, 2-1.
This also comes as the African champions are set to receive a heroines’ welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday morning.
“It felt like they were South Africans,” the Goalkeeper of the Tournament told the SA Football Journalists’ Association.
“When they were screaming, I was like, ‘Why are you doing that? Because you are only giving us strength, you are only pushing us’.
“And we love playing in front of a huge crowd — that’s our style in SA. And now you [the crowd] are making us play tiki-taka football. You will make us circulate the ball by making a lot of noise.”
Speaking about the pressure of hoisting the country’s flag as they were searching for their first WAFCON trophy, having been runners-up five times, Dlamini said they are delighted with the support back home.
“I’ve even lost weight. I’m extremely grateful to be a part of this beautiful team, a team that motivates South Africans because I know for a fact South Africans are going crazy,” she added.
“I’m happy to be a part of this fantastic tournament that has grown hugely, and to the sponsors here: keep on coming — support women.
“And I’m grateful for the sponsors and leagues in SA — Sasol and Hollywoodbets. But I’m still urging corporate SA to come on board and support women. What more should we do for you guys to support us?”