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Banyana Banyana Football Uncategorised Women’s Africa Cup of Nations

Ellis: Fringe Players Must Step Up 

  • June 5, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Ellis: Fringe Players Must Step Up 

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis expressed satisfaction with her team’s progress after securing a convincing 2-0 victory over Senegal in their second friendly encounter on Tuesday evening.

This win follows a 1-1 draw in the first match between the two sides on Saturday. Banyana Banyana, the reigning Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) champions, dominated the second match with first-half goals from Amogelang Motau and Noxolo Cesane.

CAF Women’s Coach of the Year Ellis highlighted the positive impact of the changes she made to the starting lineup for the second game. “We made changes, and we had absolute confidence and trust in the players we made the changes with and obviously could bring others in,” said Ellis. 

While pleased with the overall performance, Ellis believes Banyana Banyana could have capitalized on more scoring opportunities. “The game plan worked really well, we controlled all areas of the pitch and if you talk about the scoreline, it could have been more,” suggested Ellis.  

With key overseas-based players like Thembi Kgatlana, Jamaine Seoposenwe, and Refiloe Jane unavailable, the friendly matches provided a valuable opportunity for Ellis to assess the depth of her squad. “It wasn’t very difficult because we wanted to give them game time [new players] and also test them because when the overseas based players are not available then these players have to step up,” said Ellis.  

Ellis credited thorough technical planning between the two friendlies as a key factor in the 2-0 victory. “We had two days where we worked on certain things that didn’t work for us in the first game and it came together today,” she said.  

A cloud of uncertainty hangs over Banyana Banyana’s WAFCON title defense this year. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is reportedly struggling to find suitable dates for the tournament due to scheduling conflicts with the Olympic Games in France.

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Samkelo Biyela

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