South Africa to play USA in World Cup buildup friendly

USA v South Africa
Crystal Dunn (left) scored the winner in the first ever meeting between South Africa and USA. Photo: SI

South Africa will play USA in an international friendly at the Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif. on 12 May (kickoff 4:30pm Eastern).

The two will be using the fixture to fine-tune ahead of the 2019 Women’s World Cup set for France on ‎7 June–7 July.

Both nations last met in July 2016 in an Olympic Games-buildup friendly with USA winning 1-0.

This is the second high profile international friendly lined up for Banyana Banyana in 2019.

South Africa will commence 2019 like they did 2018: by hosting Sweden in a friendly, 22 January at the Cape Town Stadium.

News of the USA friendly come just a week after Banyana Banyana qualified for the World Cup for the first time.

South Africa sealed the World Cup ticket by reaching the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations 2018 final alongside Nigeria.

The duo plus AWCON 2018 bronze winner Cameroon will be Africa’s torchbearers in the World Cup.

Sendoff series

The Banyana Banyana match will be the first of a three-game sendoff series starting mid-May for the Americans.

The opponent for the second match in the series to be staged in St. Louis will be determined after the World Cup draw on Saturday, 8 December.

The reigning world champions will play Mexico in the final sendoff game, which will be played at (wait for it) the Red Bull Arena.

This will be the third successive World Cup that the Americans play their final sendoff match at the Red Bull Arena.

They reached the final in the last two, losing to Japan on penalties in the thrilling 2011 final but avenged by dismantling Nadeshiko in the 2015 final.

South Africa is the second African side to face USA after Nigeria, who have met the Americans four times—all coming in the World Cup and Olympic Games.

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