Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has praised Hildah Magaia’s natural goal-scoring ability after her hattrick on Thursday afternoon helped defeat Malawi 6-2 in the semifinal of the Cosafa Women’s Championship.
The match was played at Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Magaia’s ruthlessness in front of goal secured Banyana’s place in the final, where they will meet first-time finalists Botswana on Saturday as Ellis’s troops look to clinch their fourth consecutive Cosafa Women’s Championship title.
It was Magaia’s work ethic and hunger that caught the attention of Ellis as the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT Ladies) striker and captain has been working hard to improve her credentials in front of goal.
The Limpopo-born hattrick hero walked with her second Diski Queen of the Match at the Cosafa Championship for her outstanding effort for Banyana.
“I am very excited for Hildah. We’ve been working a lot in training and she’s just been unlucky in games but against Malawi, she really showed the quality that she showed during the Safa National Women’s League (SNWL),” said Ellis, who could not contain her excitement.
“So, I am happy for her, she got a hattrick and she’s was great in the women’s league but I thought each and every player that took the part in the Malawi game was absolutely magnificent.”
The TUT Ladies captain ended the inaugural SNWL campaign as the league’s joint-top goalscorer with 36 goals to her name alongside Rhoda Mulaudzi, leading her side to a second-place finish.
Banyana are unbeaten in the competition and Ellis says she is proud of the young squad even though she hasn’t been particularly pleased with the defensive performance of the team.
“We are really proud of this new group of players and we know we said it’s their time to make their mark and it’s their time to raise their hand and it’s their time to make good memories and they really stood up,” said Ellis.
“I was disappointed in the two goals we conceded [versus Malawi] because we were in control in those moments but other than that we controlled the pace of the game.”
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi