The South African Under-17 Women’s national coach Simphiwe Dludlu says that her side lost against a very experienced team in the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship this past Sunday at Nelson Mandela Bay.
This comes after Bantwana succumbed to a 6-1 defeat against the East African guest nation of Tanzania.
Aisha Masaka stole the show as she scored five goals for Tanzania on the day and took her tally of the tournament to eight goals.
“In my life, I have never been content with the performance of the team after a defeat. Somebody would say maybe I am crazy as a coach saying that. In preparing coming into this game we kept to our strategy to say we are a team that wants to build from the back and be able covert and score in the final third,” said Dludlu.
“We came up against an opponent that had a plan. They went for 3-5-2 which is quick and punished us with set-pieces.”
Dludlu added that she convinced her girls to keep position and try creating scoring opportunities despite trailing behind by many goals that could have killed their spirit.
“We lost the game keeping position and creating scoring chances, passing to each other, switching play and getting into the final third,” she stated.
“This was a very experienced team, you can see by the way they played and set themselves. They wrapped up the game in the first half. You can see our players are still young as some of them are still on their first cap and other on their second caps. We expose them because this is how you get better with the international standard.”
However, the 33-year-old mentor said that she’s pleased with how the team performed after a long time of not playing football.
“I am happy with how the team performed. Obviously, I would have loved to win but for us is game three, having eight months of not playing. Match fitness is getting there, probably by game four and five it would be much better,” Dludlu said in her closing remarks.
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By Mauwane Raophala