10 October 2022 – The South African senior women’s football team returned home on Sunday morning after an international friendly defeat against Australia in London, United Kingdom. 

Banyana Banyana travelled to the UK to face Australia in a friendly match as part of the team’s preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Coach Desiree Elli’s SASOL-sponsored charges had a decent game but could not overcome Australia’s Matildas. 

Ellis said she was impressed with the youngsters who handled the pressure well and raised their hands against Australia. 

“I thought we did not start well and we conceded very early, we spoke about minimizing mistakes but once again we conceded from a mistake.” Said Ellis. 

“At times we were good on the ball but we were not consistent. We played in patches and we were not tracking back, and we conceded again.”

“A lot of positives for us because I thought it was a better performance, we tested some new players that came and I thought they really raised their hands and that’s the big positive for us, and we scored a goal.”

This was camp number five for the Banyana Banyana players (excluding COSAFA) and it has been a busy year that began with camp one in February with an away encounter against Zambia. It was part of the preparations for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) two-legged qualifiers against Algeria also played in February. 

The team then got into their final preparation camp before the WAFCON tournament  which saw them travel to the Netherlands to face Oranje Leeuwinnen (the Netherlands women’s team) in an international friendly match played in April. 

The WAFCON camp, which was the third for the team, commenced on 11 June 2022 and lasted until Banyana Banyana were crowned champions on 23 July 2022. 

Brazil and Australia served as the fourth and fifth camps respectively for coach Ellis’ African Champions.

The team played 13 games in the calendar year, scoring 15 goals while conceding 25 (including WAFCON).