In the absence of regular stars, Banyana Banyana managed to comfortably thrash Lesotho 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Tsakane Stadium in an international friendly match.
Head coach Desiree Ellis was satisfied with the performance of her side as she used the encounter to extend the pool of players.
The Banyana team was full of new and young players with the more established and overseas stars such as Janine van Wyk, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Thembi Kgatlana, Leandra Smeda, Nothando Vilakazi, Refiloe Jane and Noko Matlou not considered for the match against Lesotho.
“We used the match to have a look at players and test these players to make the pool bigger, to get more depth and I thought we did that,” said Ellis.
“Now there is fight for places, everybody’s got to step up the level and when you step up, people push you all the time and that can only make for a better organised and a better team going forward.
“It is better to have a headache than to not have a headache, it also then makes players improve. “It makes players to up their performance because there is someone pushing them and that’s what we ask for, that players push each other in the national team and that can only make for better performances, better results and hopefully we can get that, players know that,” added Ellis.
“A brace from Rhoda Mulaudzi in the first half, and another one from second-half substitute Sibulele Holweni, were enough to hand Banyana victory.
“It was not a spectacle, but the players did what they had to do to get a win. I am happy that we got to get a positive result without the many regulars who were not here.
“At the end of the day, I believe it was a worthwhile exercise – although you cannot judge on just one match, we now have an idea of what we have in our pool, and if a need comes, we know where to replenish or strengthen,” concluded Ellis.
The Lesotho encounter saw the Banyana shot-stopper Andile Dlamini earn her 50th cap for the national team.
“I still can’t believe it; I am still a bit emotional that it has been such a long journey, and this is but just another step to many more. This was a very special day for me, 50th cap on International Women’s Day and a clean sheet – what more can I ask for?” said Dlamini.
Lebogang Ramelepe who was wearing the captain’s armband for the first time ever said he was a bit nervous in the beginning but after a while, I settled down and started enjoying her game.
“What pleases me more is that in my first game as captain we end up on the winning side, and that is a lovely feeling. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to lead my country and would like to thank everyone for the support,” said Ramalepe.
By FARPost Reporter