Banyana coach Desiree Ellis rues missed chances after Olympics shock
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has expressed her frustration at her side’s wasted goal-scoring opportunities after their shock exit from the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers at the hands of Botswana on Tuesday night.
The tie ended 0-0 after 210 minutes of football‚ which included a period of extra time‚ with Botswana triumphing 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out to stun a Banyana side who just a few months ago were competing at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France.
Botswana‚ fresh from a two-week camp in Slovakia‚ came with a plan to frustrate their more illustrious opponents and offered nothing going forward. However they managed to hang on as SA‚ without Caf women’s footballer of the year Thembi Kgatlana‚ proved wasteful in front of goal.
“We had so many chances and could not even score one,” Ellis said. “The penalty shoot-out is always a lottery. It is disappointing for all of us. We have spoken in the past about chances that we needed to take and it seemed too easy to miss them. It is just not a good day for us.
“In this game alone we could have been 4-0 or 5-0 up at halftime. We had more chances in this game than we had in Botswana. They came with the plan to frustrate us‚ yet we still opened them up enough to create chances.
“When you have the goal gaping and you don’t put the ball in the back of the net, you hit the post‚ you go into a penalty shoot-out and you don’t do well in the shoot-out either — it is a disaster.”
Banyana will now seek to qualify for the 2020 Africa Women Cup of Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ellis says they will now take stock.
“We will sit down and have a look at the way forward. We have to lift the players — they are all disappointed‚” she said.
“Football is like that. You have your ups and downs and this is definitely a down moment for us. But you have to show your character. We have to take care of each other and look forward.”