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Reflecting on her performance, Magaia said, “The free-kick against Costa Rica has given me a lot of confidence going into the first game. It was a motivation that proved that I could do anything.”
Banyana Banyana’s journey begins with a challenging encounter against third-ranked Sweden in Group G at the Wellington Regional Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 7 am).
Magaia is no stranger to their opponents, having earned her first professional contract at Morön BK, a top-flight Swedish club, in 2020 before moving to Sejong Sportstoto in South Korea.
Though she now plays in a different country, Magaia still carries valuable insights about the Swedes, and she believes that leveraging this knowledge as a team will help them achieve the desired result.
Previous encounters with Sweden have proven difficult for Banyana Banyana, as they suffered defeats in the opening matches of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics Games.
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However, the current team, having overcome numerous challenges to become the queens of Africa, is determined to spring surprises in the upcoming World Cup.
Magaia also praised the camaraderie within the team, especially after their Wafcon success, and emphasized the importance of living up to the grand stage of the World Cup.
“The motivation I take from Wafcon is to build on what the team and I have achieved,” Magaia stated through the Safa media department. “But at the same time, we need to raise the intensity of our game to a higher level – this is the highest stage, and we must be prepared for anything that comes our way.”
Banyana Banyana’s debut in the 2019 World Cup did not go as planned, as they exited in the group stage after facing tough opponents like Spain, China, and Germany.
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However, this time around, they are determined to approach the tournament with a positive mindset and energy, refusing to be threatened by their higher-ranked adversaries.
Magaia urged her teammates to gain confidence from their preparation and not be intimidated by the opposition. “We should go there with a positive mindset, positive energy, so that we cannot be threatened by them having a higher ranking,” she said.