Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has outlined what the national team has gained from playing two international friendly matches against Zambia and Botswana after almost five months of being inactive.
Ellis’ charges registered back-to-back wins at the Bidvest Wits Stadium in Johannesburg as they beat Zambia 3-1 on Saturday and went on to crush Botswana 2-0 on Tuesday with the Banyana coach stating that they used the two matches to test a few combinations and try a few things tactically.
“Look, we were able to try out a few different things, especially in the Botswana game,” said Ellis.
“We wanted to make sure that especially Tiisetso (Makhubela), who had not played for a while, gets a good 90 minutes under her belt. She went with us to the World Cup but was not available for the Cosafa Cup. Noxolo (Cesane) was not available for the Cosafa Cup either, we wanted to make sure that she also gets some minutes.”
“And we tried a few different combinations as you saw because we want to make sure that we have all our bases covered.
“But it becomes very difficult if a team doesn’t really come to play. You know, the onus was on us to open them up and I felt in the first half especially, we said they can make the middle very compact, and going to put a low block and we need to go wide, but yet we wanted to force to go through the middle.”
Ellis added: “So we tried to stretch them especially in the second half, made a few changes, also positional changes, and then we started creating more. But we need to realize those moments earlier.
“I think the second game was going to be challenging physically because we haven’t had league football for a very long time. Players have just been training, but I was impressed with the way we controlled the game at times.
“We could up the pace, we could bring the pace down, but at moments we needed to rotate the ball much quicker,” concluded the Banyana coach.
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By FARPost Reporter