Desiree Ellis happy as new group of Banyana players reach Cosafa final in style

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis addresses the media to announce her squad that will travel to Japan for a friendly match.
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis addresses the media to announce her squad that will travel to Japan for a friendly match.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has praised her “new group of players” for executing the plan perfectly during the 6-2 Cosafa Cup semifinal thrashing of Malawi in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

Malawi played the better part of the match at Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth with a player less after goalkeeper Samir Amidu received a straight red card in the early stages of the first half for a foul on Hilda Magaia.

South Africa will now meet Botswana in the much-anticipated final on Saturday at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium where a win will give the South Africans a record four titles in a row.

So impressive have the South African senior women’s national team been in this tournament that they have now scored 20 goals in four matches at an impressive average of five goals per game.

“We are proud of this group of new players. We said it’s their time to make their mark and it’s their time to raise their hands and make good memories. They really stood up today and I thought that our analysis was spot on and the players executed the plan perfectly‚” said Ellis.

“After the red card‚ we didn’t take as much control as I thought we would but we rectified that at half time and started moving the ball around and the spaces started opening up.

“I was happy for Hilda Magaia‚ who scored a hat-trick‚ because she has been working hard at training and she showed the quality that she showed during the national league.”

Though they won handsomely‚ Ellis was not happy with the fact that Banyana Banyana conceded the two goals and she wants them to shut the door in the final against Botswana.

“I was disappointed with the two goals we conceded because we didn’t control those moments well‚ but other than almost everything was good. We controlled the pace of the game‚ we dealt with every threat that they had and at times it was a joy to watch because we moved the ball around very well.”

In their semifinal‚ Botswana narrowly edged fancied Zambia 2-1 to move within one victory of what would be a historic first crown for them.

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