5 February 2019– Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will participate in the 7th Cyprus Women’s Cup, and head coach Desiree Ellis says there is now more to play for in the tournament after the format was altered – this time around, every participating team will now get a chance to play for the trophy – previously, only select groups in the tournament could fight for gold.
The Cyprus Women’s Cup is a global invitational tournament for women’s national teams, featuring 12 nations.
The event has been held annually since 2008, and although the competition takes place in Cyprus, the hosts have never taken part.
The 2019 event will be the 12th edition of the Cyprus Cup.
South Africa did not play in the inaugural tournament, but participated in 2009 where they finished in 6thplace – their highest ever finish (just like in 2018).
At their maiden competition, they played four matches – losing three and winning one (beating Scotland 2-0).
The losses came from England (6-0), France (3-2) and the Netherlands (3-2).
South Africa also featured in the 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018 editions.
Banyana Banyana will face Finland, Korea DPR and the Czech Republic in the 2019 edition.
Desiree Ellis’ charges are the lowest-ranked nation at the 2019 tournament at position 48, while Korea DPR is the highest-ranking country on the 11th spot, with Finland and the Czech Republic 28th and 31st respectively.
South Africa’s first match is against Finland on Wednesday, 27 February.
“This is a very good tournament where you actually get to face good teams, and what makes this even more exciting is that it comes as we are preparing for a huge event like the world cup. We have come a long way and this competition has helped every step of the way, as we have grown over the years of participation,” said Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis.
“We really appreciate that we are one of the 12 nations across the world who gets to be invited, because it is an indication that we are doing something right – and that means a lot. The other positive this year is that the format has changed to give every team a fighting chance to win the trophy, whereas previously only a few had that opportunity. Now there’s even more to play for – to prepare for the world cup and also attempt to win the trophy, now that is very exciting.”
Cyprus Cup Fact File:
- Tournament started in 2008
- 12 teams from around the world participate
- Banyana Banyana will be making their 7thappearance
- They missed the 2008, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017 editions
- But featured in the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018 tournaments
- Thailand and Nigeria will be making their debut
- Scotland and Italy have featured in 9 editions, while Canada and the Netherlands eigth times each
- There have been six winners since inception in 2008 (Canada, England, France, Switzerland, Austria and Spain)
- Canada and England have each won the tournament three times, with France lifting the trophy twice, while Switzerland, Austria and Spain once each
- The 2019 teams are North Korea, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Mexico, Finland, Thailand, Czech Republic, Nigeria, Hungary, Slovakia and South Africa
- Five of the teams have qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France – South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Thailand & South Korea
NEW CYPRUS CUP FORMAT
* The format of the Tournament will be three groups of four teams, where each team in the group will play each other once.
This will be followed by a FINALS DAY with placement round as follows:
- 11th– 12th place match: 3rd best 4th placed team vs 2nd best 4th placed team
- 9th– 10th place match: best 4th placed team vs 3rd best 3rd placed team
- 7th– 8th place match: 2nd best 3rd placed team vs best 3rd placed team
- 5th– 6th place match: 3rd best 2nd placed team vs 2nd best 2nd placed team
- 3rd– 4th place match: 3rd best group winner vs best 2nd placed team
- Final: best group winner vs 2nd best group winner
GROUP A FIXTURES:
27 February 2019
South Africa vs Finland 13h00
North Korea vs Czech Republic 18h00
1 March 2019
Finland vs Czech Republic 13h00
South Africa vs North Korea 18h00
4 March 2019
Czech Republic vs South Africa 13h00
Finland vs North Korea 18h00
PAST WINNERS AND RUNNERS UP: