South Africa……(1)3 (T. Shamase 12’, Samukelisiwe Selana 65’, 78’)
Madagascar……(1)1 (Anajrasoa Velomanatsolo 43’)
7 October 2023 – The South African senior women’s national soccer team, Banyana Banyana got their first victory in the COSAFA Women’s Championship against Madagascar at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Coach Desiree Ellis’s side came into this game on the back of a 3-4 defeat to Malawi in their tournament opener and they needed nothing short of a victory to stand a chance of going through to the next round of the competition.
Ellis made four changes to the team that started against Malawi with Lonathemba Mhlongo, Unathi Simayile, Ayesha Moosa and Tshogofatso Motlogelwa all coming in to for Khensani Nkuna, Raesetja Mogale, Lizza Mokoena and Ntombifikile Ndlovu.
Banyana took an early lead in the match when Tshogofatso Motlogelwa was brought down inside the box and Thubelihle Shamase made no mistake as she converted from the spot to give South Africa the lead in the 12th minute.
Madagascar pulled one back just before half-time as the two sides went to the break deadlocked at 1-1.
The introduction of Chelsea Daniels and Samkelisiwe Selana in the second half proved to be a game changer with Selana adding her name to the scoresheet in the 65th minute. The hard running striker completed her brace in the 78th minute to seal the victory for Banyana Banyana who will face Eswatini next for their final group A match on Tuesday, 10 October 2023 with hopes that things go in their favour for a place in the semi-finals.
Despite the good win, coach Desiree Ellis was, however not completely impressed with her team’s performance but happy with the scoreline.
“Look, I am happy with the result but not with the performance. I told the players that because it is hot, move the ball around but every ball we played were long balls.”
“We are never going to compete and win those long balls. When we played Malawi we started moving the ball around and that is how we gained control because that is our strength and unfortunately running with the ball against someone who is more physical was not going to work. During the break we tried to rectify it but once again we conceded poorly. Number 15 of Madagascar was completely free when the ball came across and we had assigned certain players to certain players,” said Ellis.
The Banyana Banyana coach said overall she was happy with the win.