Bafana coach Desiree Ellis. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES
Bafana coach Desiree Ellis. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

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 Wednesday and three points against Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) will put them on a path to next week’s semifinals.

“Our next game is against unpredictable Eswatini, who beat Comoros 4-2  in their opening match after they were two goals down‚” said Ellis. “We are going to analyse that game and put the plan in 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 in our best performance against them [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 2-0 win over Angola‚ Ellis said they were in control and she was impressed with the performances of a number of new players in the senior national team.

“I thought we started slowly, but as the game went on I was impressed with the way we moved the ball around 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.

“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-back.

“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.

“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 played well despite a long period of inactivity due to Covid-19.”

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