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Banyana coach keeps players sharp

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After two matches, coach Desiree Ellis has fielded all, but one of her 20-player squad which have yet to concede a goal at the 2020 Cosafa Women’s Championship.

Banyana Banyana continued their remorseless winning streak with a comprehensive 5-0 victory over hitherto unbeaten eSwatini. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – By the time the Cosafa Women’s Championship reaches business end next week, there will be fierce competition for places in Banyana Banyana’s team.

After two matches, coach Desiree Ellis has fielded all, but one of her 20-player squad which have yet to concede a goal at the 2020 showpiece at the Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Speaking after her side’s emphatic 5-0 over Eswatini on Friday, Ellis said it was important for all the players in the squad to have game time.

“There’s no point in bringing players to a tournament and then not giving them a chance to show their worth,” said Ellis. “We have one player who has yet to have a run here at the tournament.

“Some of the new players have been impressive and have shown they are ready for international football.

“These wins (against Angola and Eswatini) are morale-boosters because it instils confidence,” said Ellis. One area of concern for Ellis is set-pieces, which needs a fair amount of work before it can be relied on as a dependable scoring tool.

“We have not devoted time to set-pieces because we were working hard on playing systems,” she said.

Banyana will wrap up their Group A assignments against Comoros on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, further down the ranks, the SA Women’s Under-17 (Bantwana Bantwana) team bounced back from an opening match defeat to score a 7-0 win over Zimbabwe on Friday at The Oval, in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Bantwana lost 2-1 to Zambia in their Cosafa Women’s Under-17 opener earlier in the week in the Under-17 tournament that runs concurrently with the women’s event in Nelson Mandela Bay.