Ellis asks Banyana charges to not be complacent against Eswatini

Friday's Cosafa match follows 2-0 win over Angola on Tuesday

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis says she will take Eswatini seriously.
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis says she will take Eswatini seriously.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has asked her charges to guard against complacency when they face Eswatini in a Cosafa Women’s Championship match at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Banyana began the defence of their title with a 2-0 win over Angola on Tuesday and Ellis knows that three points against Eswatini will put them on a path to next week's semifinals.

“Our next game is against unpredictable Eswatini who got a good result in their opening match against Comoros after they were two goals down‚” said Ellis.

“We are obviously going to analyse that game and put the plan into action. It will be up to the players to raise their hands so that we get maximum points and make it a lot easier going into the last game against Comoros.

“We are not going to take the game lightly‚ we must make sure that we put our best performance against Eswatini.

“We have to give a performance that is better than the one we gave against Angola because as the tournament continues we want to improve on a number of aspects of our game, like finishing and rotating the ball quicker.”

Looking back at their win over Angola‚ Ellis said they were in control and she was impressed by the performances of a number of new players in the senior national team.

“I said we started slowly but as the game went on I was impressed with the way we moved the ball about and created a lot of opportunities. We were in complete control for most of the game and there was never really a serious shot at our goalkeeper Andile Dlamini.

There is room for improvement - things like rotating the ball quicker‚ movement off the ball and obviously putting the ball in the back of the net.

“But there is room for improvement - things like rotating the ball quicker‚ movement off the ball and obviously putting the ball in the back of the net because we created many chances.

“I was happy for the newer players that came. Lonathemba Mhlongo scored on debut‚ Karabo Dhlamini came on and scored her first goal for Banyana and Sibulele Holweni had a solid game at left fullback.

“Oratile Mokwena came on and created an opportunity for Hildah Magaia‚ Pride Nthite came in and we saw that fire down the wing with excellent crossing. So‚ I was happy for the newer players that came in.

“The senior players stood up and showed their quality and I think it was a good all-round team performance. If I look back at the game‚ we really played well though there has been long period of inactivity due to Covid-19.

“There were good moments where we really rotated the ball well.

“I am happy with the result and the performance after a long time and we can really get better and better.”


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