SAFA : Amanda Dlamini closes in on a century of appearances

SAFA : Amanda Dlamini closes in on a century of appearances

Banyana Banyana midfielder Amanda Dlamini stands on the threshold of greatness as she prepares to make her 100th appearance for South Africa in the international friendly match against the USA on Saturday, 9 July 2016.

20160708-Amanda10The clash takes place at Soldier Field in Chicago, USA.

Kickoff is at 12h00 local time (19h00 South African time).

Dlamini will join the quartet of captain Janine van Wyk (130), fellow midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni and the retired Portia Modise (both 124) as well as Noko Matlou (123) who have played a century and more in Banyana Banyana colours.

Born in 1988 in Harding, KwaZulu Natal, the player known as Toki among her peers started her club football with Durban Ladies.

She made her national team debut in 2007 against Nigeria in an Olympic qualifier. She has scored 24 goals – her first one coming in the 2-1 loss to The Netherlands in 2008.

“It has always been a dream of mine to play for the national team, I have never wanted to do anything else but play football. I am what I am today because of the game. I have given so much to the game and to see myself so close to the 100 caps makes me very emotional,” said Dlamini.

“What makes it even more special is that it could happen against the top-ranked nation in the world in women’s football, who are also the Olympic and World Champions – what more can I ask for? I am really looking forward to this.”

While she understands that it could be a special match for her, she hasn’t forgotten the bigger picture.

“At the end of the day this is not about me but the team. We must not lose sight of why we are here. Personal glory comes after the team. We are here to prepare for the Olympics Games, we are here to represent our country and we are here to defend our flag – once we have done that, only then can we start celebrating personal glories,” added Dlamini.

“We are playing a strong nation and it will be a very difficult match. They are more experienced but we will do the best we can to get a positive result.”

Dlamini has been ever-present for Banyana Banyana and played in all the six matches of the Olympic qualifiers – home and away against Gabon, Kenya and Equatorial Guinea. She managed to score one goal against Gabon.

Should she play, she will share the limelight with USA goalkeeper Hope Solo who will also be celebrating 100 caps for her country.