Banyana Banyana are in a confident mood as they are gearing up to face Malawi in the semifinals of the 2021 Cosafa Women’s Championship this afternoon.
The showdown is set to take place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at 15:30.
The two teams met in their tournament opener, with the South Africans claiming a narrow, hard-fought 2-1 victory.
It is also a repeat of last year’s semifinal when Banyana ran out 6-2 winners in a game that was 0-0 at halftime.
The tournament regulations meant organisers could have switched around the semifinal fixtures as South Africa and Malawi emerged from the same group, but the Organising Committee opted to keep things the way they are.
The hosts finished top of Group A with seven points, whereas Malawi claimed the second place in the same group as the best-placed runner-up on six points with a +2 goal-difference, and edged Zimbabwe (six points, +1) and Uganda (four points, +3).
Coach Desiree Ellis has emphasized that there will be no room for error going into the much-awaited semifinal encounter.
“I think as the tournament has progressed, we have gotten better in terms of what we want to do, we started being true to who we are, putting the ball down and moving it around but there is still room for improvement,” said the two-time Caf Women’s Coach of the Year.
“In the game against Mozambique we had 26 goal attempts and 13 on target in which we scored three. We have to improve the ratio of goal attempts to goals scored because in the game against Malawi there will be no room for error or second chances.
“We know that it won’t be an easy game, it will be as difficult as the first game was but if we are true to who we are and will execute our plan accordingly.”
The 58-year-old mentor went on to say that the Malawian side should not to be taken for granted as they have improved so massively as compared to the previous year.
“This time around they have come out very physical in their approach, they never stop running and they are deadly with set pieces and that’s one thing we have been working on.
“This is a different game with no second chances so you have to make sure that you execute the plan well to move forward and we have to make sure that we do our job in the best way we can,” concluded Ellis.
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By FARPost Reporter