Portia Modise slams Desiree Ellis' tactics in qualifier flop

Lesego Radiakanyo of Botswana puts Lebohang Ramalepe of South Africa under pressure. /Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Lesego Radiakanyo of Botswana puts Lebohang Ramalepe of South Africa under pressure. /Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Banyana Banyana legend Portia Modise has questioned coach Desiree Ellis' tactics in Tuesday's 3-2 penalty shootout defeat to Botswana in the second leg of the second round of next year's Tokyo Olympics qualifiers.

Having played out to a goalless stalemate in the first leg in Gaborone last week, Banyana disappointingly failed to capitalise on home ground advantage at Orlando Stadium.

The match had finished 0-0 after extra-time before Botswana managed to dispatch of SA on penalties.

"We didn't have a structure; we didn't have a direction in our game. You put Leandra Smeda [who primarily plays upfront] at left-back whereas you have Nothando Vilakazi, who's the natural left-back, on the bench," ranted Modise.

"Leandra is someone who was supposed to be at left wing, supplying those crosses. The coach was worried with the defence and someone [Vilakazi] who was supposed to help at the back was benched."

Ellis expectedly bemoaned poor fishing. The Banyana coach conceded they have no one, but themselves to blame.

"When you have so many chances and you can't score even one [it's always going to be a problem], in the first minute ... in the last minute [they got glorious chances]," Ellis groaned.

"Most definitely [that they have themselves to blame] in this game [the second leg] alone, we could have been four, five [goals] up at half-time. We had more chances in this game than we had in the first leg in Botswana."

When she took over on a permanent basis in February 2018, having been the interim mentor for 18 months, Ellis was mandated to qualify for the World Cup, which she did, and the Olympics, with the latter proving a futile attempt.

Sowetan understands that Ellis' contract expires in August next year after the Olympics.

It is still unclear if the Banyana coach will see out her contract, however she sounded somehow positive.

"We'll sit down first and look at the way forward. We have to lift the players up, some of them are going back to their clubs, so we have to lift them up and discuss the way forward."

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