15 July 2022 – The South African senior women’s national team arrived in Mohammedia, Morocco, on Friday evening ahead of their crunch Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) semi-final showdown against regional neighbours Zambia on Monday 18 July 2022
The SASOL-sponsored Banyana Banyana qualified for the semi-finals after they beat Tunisia 1-0 in the quarter-finals in Rabat on Thursday night to set up an all-Southern Africa semi-final clash against Zambia scheduled for State Mohammed V Stadium. With the win over Tunisia, the South Africans also booked a place in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which will take place next year in New Zealand and Australia.
Coach Desiree Ellis said the final score in Thursday’s encounter against Tunisia should have been a lot more comfortable than the outcome suggests as her charges created an array of opportunities that were never converted.
But the Banyana Banyana coach said she was satisfied that her players achieved the main objective of securing a ticket to the World Cup.
“I thought we started really well but then we stopped playing, and I don’t know why. But we kept encouraging them to play, and we kept creating chances. As the game went on, I think they felt the pressure and we tried to calm them down,” Ellis said.
“We made elementary mistakes, I don’t know how many chances we could have just rolled [onto the net], and we didn’t take those chances. I want to see the stats of those chances because they were so clear-cut. We didn’t take them. At the end of the day it was not a good performance, but we showed a lot of grit.
“I thought Refiloe Jane and Lebohang Ramalepe came through really good for us after not being part of training for a while. They gave us a lot.
“But at the end we are going to the World Cup hey,” enthused a jubilant Ellis.
The South African senior women’s team’s progress in Morocco is confirmation of the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) huge investment in the team.
SAFA is happy to see the team secure qualification for the World Cup, and also reach the semi-finals of the WAFCON.
Banyana Banyana have been based in Rabat since 22 June 2022 the city was their home for the duration of the group stages and quarterfinals.
The team travelled to Mohammedia on Friday and will continue with their preparations at their new base ahead of Monday’s semi-final showdown. A win against Zambia will secure sixth WAFCON final appearance for Banyana Banyana.