Coach Ellis expects her Banyana charges to up their game
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis told her side to increase their intensity and shift to a higher gear, despite cruising to a 3-1 victory against Mozambique in the Cosafa Women’s Championship at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Ellis was pleased with Banyana’s display on Monday but is challenging the players to up their performance even further.
After the Cosafa Cup tournament, Banyana will commence with their Africa Women Cup of Nations journey with the first qualifying match away to Mozambique later in October.
"We started very well. We could have been 2-0 up in the early stages of the game. We had some great chances," said Ellis.
"When we scored we almost took our foot off the pedal and that is when you need to take control of the game and make sure you play to your tempo, and make the opponents play at your tempo."
Banyana were motivated from the first whistle against the bottom-placed but stubborn Mozambican side, who were not going to go down without a fight.
"We knew Mozambique was going to come at us. We have seen their games and they don’t give up," she said.
"We were talking on the bench about how we needed that second goal, but then we defended poorly to concede and it was back to chasing the game."
Banyana, who finished at the top of Group A with seven points, will have to wait until Tuesday after the final round of pool games to know their next opponents.
"We were not worried about what was happening in the other game between Angola and Malawi. We knew we had to win our game and the team showed great resilience, character and mental strength, and that is second to none," she said.
"A lot of them come from the Buhari Cup and most are being challenged, mentally and physically, but I think everyone played well, and they stood up," added Ellis.
"We will have our recovery session to prepare and we will know who will be our semi-final opponents. We have got to be better going into the semi-finals because there is no room for error there."