Home Sport ‘Banyana Banyana executed our plans to the T’, says coach

‘Banyana Banyana executed our plans to the T’, says coach

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Banyana coach Desiree Ellis’ troops emerged victorious and in stylish fashion too and she praised her team for executing a well thought out plan.

Banyana Banyana’s Hildah Tholakele Magaia celebrates scoring against Nigeria. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

Durban – Banyana Banyana kicked off their African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) campaign with an impressive 2-1 victory against defending champions Nigeria on Monday evening.

The South African women, although battering the Super Falcons in their last encounter came into this match as underdogs having not beaten Nigeria before in the AWCON.

Coach Desiree Ellis’ troops emerged victorious and in stylish fashion too, marking themselves as one of the favourites for this year’s trophy. Ellis praised her team for executing a well thought out plan.

“I placed strong emphasis on the importance of winning the first game and even more so because our first game was against Nigeria. We knew we needed a good start to give us the momentum and to give us the confidence and my players were excellent,” she said

“They executed our plans to the T especially in the second half. This is a massive three points for us and it sets the tone for the rest of the tournament.”

Banyana made a slow start at the Stade Moulay Hassan Stadium making bad decision making, sloppy passes and both sides played at an extremely low tempo which meant chances were few and far between.

The two sides attempted to lure each other out as tactical proficiency came to the fore with every player on high alert in the opening exchanges but the second stanza brought about renewed vigour and fresh ideas for Banyana.

“We knew we couldn’t match them for strength so we wanted to put the ball on the ground. I thought our rotation of the ball was very slow in the first half and we didn’t play through the channels,” Ellis continued to explain at the post match conference.

She went on to add: “We controlled the tempo in the second half and our passing was good. Our switching of play was good and that’s how we were able to get the goals in the second half.”

Banyana will take on AWCON debutantes Burundi in their next match on Thursday however Ellis brushed away any feeling of complacency amongst her charges as she emphasised the importance of respecting every opponent if they are to achieve their goals.

“We are not gonna underestimate any team. We have the teams that are here and with teams like Senegal and Mali you can’t underestimate any of these teams. You underestimate these teams at your own peril,” she expressed.

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