Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo were named to the South Africa Women’s National Team training camp roster prior to the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations in Ghana, the South African Football Association (SAFA) announced today.
The African Women’s Cup of Nations will also determine which national teams will represent the Confederation of African Football at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next summer. Banyana Banyana (the Girls) are hoping to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in the nation’s history.
Eight teams will be drawn into two groups of four during the Cup of Nations. The top two teams will advance to the knockout round of the tournament. The winners of each semifinal match, along with the winner of the third-place game, will qualify for the World Cup.
Kgatlana scored two goals and tallied three assists in 16 appearances for the Dash last season. The 22-year-old was a signed as a discovery player in February and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 Cyprus Women’s Cup in March. She has eight caps at the senior international level with one goal, which came in her most recent appearance for the national team, a 2-2 draw with Chile on October 9.
Motlhalo started 20 of the 21 games she appeared in during her rookie season and scored a goal against Sky Blue FC in Houston’s final home game of the regular season, a 6-1 victory over the New Jersey club on Aug. 25. The 20-year-old has earned seven caps and has scored three goals for Banyana Banyana, including the goal that put them through to the COSAFA Cup final in September.