Banyana Banyana caused a stir after securing a 17-0 victory in their opening 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship match against Comoros on Wednesday, 31 July, 2019.
The defending champions opened their title defence on a positive note in Port Elizabeth, where this year’s tournament is being held, after thrashing their opponents and in the process, broke the long-standing record which had Zimbabwe bag a 15-0 win against Lesotho, 17 years ago.
The South Africans have set the bar high as they progress further in the tournament, and Head Coach Desiree Ellis spoke out about her player’s display on the field, which saw her captain, Refiloe Jane win the Player of the Match award after scoring four goals.
Coach Cautioned Defending Champs against Complacency
“At first, we didn’t know what to expect because we didn’t know much about Comoros and I told the players to not become complacent, but also, to keep the level up and to show why we were at the World Cup,” Ellis told the South African Football Association media after the game.
“We keep talking about the lessons learned from the World Cup, but if you don’t come out and perform, then the lessons that you learnt mean nothing and I felt that we were really professional today.
“We kept the standard up, our movement off the ball, our finishing was good and each, and every goal that we scored had a sort of a build up and that is what we are looking for,” she added.
Going into this tournament, Ellis had made several changes to the squad and managed to bring in fresh faces to add to her 20-member team.
“We did say that we were going to make changes and we felt that we needed to make those changes, especially with the young ones,” she said.
“It just goes to show that we are making the pool bigger and that’s what it is all about, giving others an opportunity and, then, them grabbing the opportunity, which they did today,” she continued.
“That gives confidence to us as a group and for the team for other players to step up and put on such a performance, we are happy with that,” she ended.
Result South Africa v Comoros, at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth on 31 July, 2019:
South Africa 17 – 0 Comoros
Banyana Banyana Starting Line-Up v Comoros:
GK – Andile Dlamini
DF – Lebohang Ramalepe
DF – Bongeka Gamede
DF – Bambanani Mbane
DF – Tiisetso Makhubela
MF – Mamello Makhabane
MF – Refiloe Jane (c)
MF – Kholosa Biyana
FW – Ode Fulutudilu
FW – Amanda Mthandi
FW – Busisiwe Ndimeni
Next Banyana COSAFA Women’s Championship Fixture:
2 August, 2019, 15h30: South Africa v Madagascar – Wolfson Stadium
Photo 1 Caption: Mamello Makhabane of South Africa celebrates with skipper and Player of the Match Refiloe Jane, who netted four goals for South Africa during the team’s opening 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship match against Comoros at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, 31 July, 2019. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix