ZURICH, Switzerland - South Africa will compete alongside Brazil, Japan and a third team
still to be determined in group B of the Women's Under-17 World Cup to be held in Uruguay from November 13 to December 1.
The draw was held in Zurich, on Wednesday.
The fourth member of SA's group will be a Concacaf (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) nation.
SA coach Simphiwe Dludlu said her side will have to be on top of their game if they are to compete on the biggest stage.
“I would not say its an easy draw because all the teams that we are grouped with are experienced as they have been there before," said Dludlu.
"If you also look at the Concacaf teams that still have to qualify, the favourites US, Mexico and Canada, and don’t forget Haiti because they surprised everyone and qualified for the Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
"So this certainly tells you that whichever team we will get from Concacaf is also not going to be an easy side to play."
Brazil will be making their fifth appearance at the soccer showpiece. They also qualified
for the last world cup in 2016, only missing out in 2014. The South Americans have twice progressed to the quarterfinals – 2010 and 2012.
“Brazil has done well in this competition – they have qualified four times of the five times since 2008 at the inception of the tournament. That tells me that they have a lot of experience. In the last tournament they were knocked out in the group stages,” added Dludlu.
“Brazil is known as a footballing country and their development structures
are a little better than us as they start playing from an early age – and that put them at an advantage than most countries, especially the African continent.”
Japan has now qualified for their sixth World Cup and were champions in 2014.
“Japan is a very impressive team, and it comes as no surprise because we know the Asians teams always do well in international competitions, especially China and Japan – with the latter the most successful team even at a senior team level,” said the former Banyana Banyana defender and captain.
South Africa will be playing in their second Under-17 Women’s World Cup. In their previous appearance at the tournament in 2010, led by Solly Luvhengo where they were eliminated in the group stages.
Bantwana’s first match in Uruguay will be against the Concacaf opponent on November 13 and the clash will take place at Estadio Domingo Burgueno in Maldonado.
They will then take on Japan on November 16 at the same venue.
For their final group stage match, South Africa will travel to Montevideo to face Brazil on November 20 at Estadio Charrua.
African News Agency