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Ellis On Nigeria – It’s Only Half-Time

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has reacted to her side’s 1-0 loss to Nigeria in the first leg of their Paris Olympic qualifier, saying it’s only half-time for South Africa who still have a chance to overturn things at home.

Rasheedat Ajibade’s first-half penalty decided the first leg in Abuja on Friday evening as the sides look to book one of the only two spots for African teams at the Games.

The two top-ranked African women’s sides missed the last edition, however stretching Banyana’s absence from the Olympics to eight years and the Super Falcons’ even to 16.

The second leg of the 2024 event qualifier is scheduled for Loftus Stadium on Tuesday 9 April.

The coach admits Banyana shouldn’t have given away the penalty, however she was happy with how the team played.

“We are obviously going to have a look at the footage and see where we can exploit,” Ellis said.

“Because I thought defensively we were really sound up until that moment from the penalty we created a couple of chances.

“We also had a lot of players coming back from injury, not having played 90 minutes and I thought we got a lot out of them.

“So they are better in the legs now and will be better in the second leg. But as Thembi [Kgatlana] said for us it’s half time we still have another half to go.”

Tickets for this clash are on sale at TicketPro, costing R50 for adults and R20 for scholars and children.  

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.