11 April 2023 – The South African senior women’s national team remains upbeat despite suffering defeat to Serbia at the SC FA of Serbia – Stara Pazova this week.
The SASOL-sponsored African champions fought their way back from a three-goal deficit to finish their friendly international against the 35th- ranked hosts at 2-3 on Monday (10 April 2023). Despite their failure to find the elusive third goal that would have ensured a share of the spoils, coach Desiree Ellis was impressed with the fighting spirit displayed by her charges.
“I think in the first 15 minutes when they got those corners and set-pieces, we did not organise very well. I think with the third goal we could have dealt better with that set-piece. But after that I think we were in complete control. We got one or two chances that we did not take, then we got another one and we took it and went to halftime at 3-1,” said Ellis.
“I think when we came out in the second half we were even better, we kept the intensity up and we kept rotating the ball very quickly. We got another chance and Jermaine put it away. We just could not get that final one. There are a couple of boxes we can tick off, but of course not the result we wanted. We need to go back and have a look at the set-pieces and see how we can do that better. I would like to have a look before I even speak about it.”
Prolific goalscorer Hilhah Magaia believes it will be important for the players to go back to their
respective clubs and work very hard before returning to the next camp with the national team.
“I think from here it’s going back again to work harder as we did with the previous games. We went back to our clubs and worked very hard, and we need to do the same thing to earn that call up again,” she said.
“I think after we conceded those three goals, that’s when we realized we needed to up our game . We got together and spoke about the fact that we needed to pull up our socks because we were not confident on the ball. My goal definitely helped with boosting my spirit and I think it did the same thing for my
Ellis was not the only one impressed with the second half fight, SASOL senior Manager (Group Brand and Sponsorship) Nozipho Mbatha said they were proud of the display they saw from the players.
“A difficult start to the game with a quick opposition goal at the 8th minute, but our team fought back
and gained control. Banyana Banyana remained focused and determined, despite being 3-0 down,” Mbatha said.
“Their persistent fighting spirit was commendable and that is exactly what we want to see as they
prepare for the upcoming World Cup. The team mirrored our mantra, Live The Impossible, for the
duration of the match as they worked hard on the field of play to turn things around. Congratulations to the coaching staff, players and team management for a sterling effort.”
The team will leave Serbia on Tuesday afternoonand land in South Africa on Wednesday morning.
Details of the next camp will be communicated soon. For all news on Banyana Banyana and all
national teams please visit www.www.safa.net.