Home Sport Desiree Ellis hails ‘magnificent’ defence in semi-final

Desiree Ellis hails ‘magnificent’ defence in semi-final

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Banyana Banyana beat Zambia in the Awcon semi-final and coach Desiree Ellis was more than pleased with her defence who have gone three games without conceding.

Desiree Ellis celebrates after Banyana Banyana reached the final of the Womens Africa Cup of Nations. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

Durban – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has hailed the performance of her defensive unit following their 1-0 win over Zambia in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) semi-final in Rabat on Monday.

Ellis’s charges will now face off against Morocco in the final on Saturday.

The result marked a third consecutive game in which Banyana kept a clean sheet.

“We were always in control at the back and the defence was magnificent. I said that if we keep a clean sheet, we will create opportunities. We wanted to be more in control and stay compact in the back in the second half while also having more movement up front,” said Ellis.

Despite being the pre-match underdogs, Zambia gave a competitive performance. The Copper Queens dominated the first half and Banyana required a second half penalty from Linda Motlhalo to win the game.

Ellis paid tribute to her team’s Southern African neighbours for their spirited performance.

“Zambia showed true quality but we wanted it in the end. They tried to play the long ball behind us and we created chances. The victory is important as we are in the final,” said Ellis.

As one of the top four teams at WAFCON, Banyana have already achieved one of their objectives which is securing World Cup qualification. Their next objective will be to secure a first ever continental crown.

“Our two objectives were to qualify for the World Cup and get to the final. We know that many have been in this position and we want to go one better. It is a big celebration now for those that have been with us for two successive World Cups.

“The fans have also been magnificent to us on Madiba Day. It was a tight game and these games are normally tight games,” said Ellis.

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