Banyana Banyana might have scored 14 goals in three Group A matches without conceding a goal, but coach Desiree Ellis wants to see her players take more responsibility upfront and make a statement in the Cosafa Women’s Challenge semifinal on Thursday against Malawi at the Wolfson Stadium, in Nelson Mandela Bay.
As the defending champions, Banyana attained a 100 perfect winning record in the group stages and will have to break Malawi’s watertight defence and tame their dangerous attack if they want to keep their hopes of a fourth consecutive Cosafa Women’s Championship title alive.
Malawi have managed to keep clean sheets in their two group matches while scoring 10 goals in the process to earn top spot in Group B. They thrashed Lesotho 9-0 and claimed a 1-0 victory over Zambia.
It's semi-final time! 💪🏿
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) November 12, 2020
“We may have only one or two [scoring] chances [against Malawi], and then we have to be clinical in front of goal. This will be a different game for us because our opponents Malawi will be a real test. They score goals, and they do not concede goals,” said Ellis.
“They have the Chawinga sisters (Tabitha and Temwa), and the two of them have raised the [playing] level of the team. It is something we’ll analyse and then put plans in place for Malawi.
“We will have to stay focussed for the duration of the game. We cannot allow a lull to set into our game.”
The two-day break has given Ellis and the technical staff enough time to prepare the players for the semifinal. “Once we as coaches have done our job, it is up to the players. It all depends on how badly they want it,” she said.
“I have challenged the players to make their mark each time they play for South Africa. This is their chance to make sure people will remember them for their contributions and impact on the national team.
A team for the big occasions 🙌
— Official SasolLeague (@SasolLeague) November 12, 2020
In the first semifinal of the day, Zambia will take on undefeated Botswana. (kickoff at 12:00).
RELATED STORY: Always room for improvement – Banyana coach Ellis
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi