Banyana-Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis says it’s all to play for in the second round second leg Paris 2024 Olympic qualifier against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This is after the two countries played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Kinshasa on Wednesday, with the second leg in Soweto on 30 October 2023. DRC took the lead first in the encounter against a new South African defence line and the African champions levelling in the second half.
Ellis says she was proud of the backline and the team overall for their performance. The coach will have more players to select from in the second leg after players based in Europe in Linda Mothlalo and Faith Nokuthula Owusu couldn’t feature in the first match after arriving late and others like Jermaine Seoposenwe only going to be available for the return match at home. The three time CAF African coach of the year is expecting a better showing at home with better organisation in all areas.
“We have a couple of days at home and we have some players coming back into the squad as well” said Ellis.
“We knew they were going to be physical. We also knew they had strength and speed down the wings. We knew that was going to happen, we said cut out the crosses and if you can’t cut out the crosses then win the aerial battle. And I felt at the goal that we could have defended a little bit better. But I thought the reaction after that was really, really good but I felt we could have done better in the moment where we conceded. I thought our reaction to that was really good, when we got the goal early and it’s all to play for in the second leg”
“Look we know it’s going to be another difficult game back in South Africa. I think we can play better than what we did today. There were some really good moments when we move the ball around especially when we scored, the way we created that goal but there weren’t enough of those moments. I think there were a few chances that we could have put to bed if we were a little bit more clinical in front of goal as well. I think creating chances is a plus but we’ve got to be clinical in front of goal because we could have put this game to bed you know and made sure that we got a win out of this game. So we have to be at our absolute best back in South Africa and make sure that we are much more organised in all departments”
“Obviously Faith and Linda didn’t play they arrived very late and I also have to take care of their wellbeing. Jermaine will link up with us in South Africa along with Selana and Tshegofatso so we have some personnel coming back. We will obviously make the team a bit stronger. We have to make sure that we get the game plan right and execute the game plan”