6 March 2018 – Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will face Belgium in the 5th/6th Place Play-off of the 2018 Cyprus Women’s Cup.
The clash will be played on Wednesday, 7 March when the curtain comes down on the tournament, which started on Wednesday, 28 February. Kick off is at 15h00 in Larnaka.
South Africa finished second in Group C, while Belgium ended as the second best runner up of Groups A and B.
Should Banyana Banyana defeat the Europeans, who are ranked 22nd in the world, they will finish in 5th position, which will be their highest ever in the tournament since the first appearance in the tournament in 2009.
“I am looking forward to another different challenge because each and every game so far has had its own challenges. It is going to be very interesting because we are playing a team from Group B but I think we are all up for it, especially the players. I believe they will give their all because it’s 90 minutes where they get their best finish in the tournament but it’s also another match to see how much improvement we have made. Hopefully we can put up another great performance and go home with our heads held even higher,” said Ellis.
Banyana Banyana put on a gutsy performance to hold the 11th ranked Korea DPR in the final group stages match on Monday, 5 March. Korea DPR, who topped Group C with seven points, will tackle Switzerland for third place, while Italy and Spain will contest the final.
“We have been working on our defensive structure and I think each and every game that we have played so far, prepared us for the next one. Everything is a process, we have improved with every match and players have grown a lot. We have made several changes for every fixture and every player that has been called upon has done the business, we don’t say we have a team but we have a squad – and that is the beauty of this group that we have here. The players can hold their heads high for a magnificent performance,” said Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis.
Ellis has used all three goalkeepers in the three matches, and every player in the team has had a chance to play, save for only one – defender Zanele Nhlapho.
“We have to sit down with the medical and technical team to see what changes we can make this time because the players have had a punishing schedule of three matches in six days. We want to win the last match but the health of players is more important. We also have to study the opposition to see what personnel is needed, and based on that, there is always a possibility of a few changes” added Ellis
In other matches, Wales will face Austria for the 7th/8th place play off, with Slovakia and the Czech Republic contesting the 9th/10th place while Hungary and Finland will lock horns for a 11th place finish.
FINAL DAY FIXTURES – 2018 CYPRUS WOMEN’S CUP
|07.03. 11:00||Hungary W||Finland W|
|07.03. 11:00||Slovakia W||Czech Republic W|
|07.03. 11:00||Wales W||Austria W|
|07.03. 15:00||South Africa W||Belgium W|
|07.03. 15:00||North Korea W||Switzerland W|
|07.03. 18:00||Italy W||Spain W|
LATEST LOG STANDINGS
|4.||Czech Republic W||3||1||0||2||2:5||3|
|1.||North Korea W||3||2||1||0||3:0||7|
|2.||South Africa W||3||1||2||0||1:0||5|