Ellis insists Banyana will not underestimate Tanzania in the return leg

football27 February 2024 08:12| © SuperSport
By:Vuyo Ndudane
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Desiree Ellis gestures during training © Gallo Images

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis says in the quest to qualify in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games they will not underestimate the Tanzania fixture, despite the first leg victory in the bag.

The South African senior women’s team will host Tanzania in the return leg of the CAF Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament at 19h30 CAT on Tuesday evening, at Bombela Stadium in Mpumalanga and live on SuperSport Variety 4.

Banyana won the first leg 3-0 in Tanzania, at the Azam Complex Stadium in Dar es Salaam and Ellis believes that took away a huge amount of pressure from their shoulders.

“I think we have taken a lot of pressure away from us by getting good results away from home and we still have to make sure that we are the absolutely best, because it can never be over until the final whistle,” Ellis said.

Banyana made their debut in the Olympics in 2012, their second participation in the Games was in 2016 in Rio. Recently they have convincingly done well, winning the Women's Africa Cup of Nations, and qualifying for back-to-back World Cups, however, Ellis being aware that this is a different ball game, is adamant that her team will not underestimate their opponent.

“We have to make sure that we are the team that scores the first goal and doing so we then take it away from Tanzania, but we have seen them play away from home and got the results against a team like Botswana who is no easy feat playing in their home ground. So, we have to make sure that we are absolutely best and take nothing for granted, because yes, we might have won 3-0 but you know how easily things can change”.

“We have to be really professional in the way we do things and make sure that we win this match as well to make sure that we go through to the final round. If we speak about going to the Olympics, we have to make sure we are in the next round to able to give ourselves a chance,” she added.


Ellis however, believes playing at home is always idyllic and she urges the 12th player in supporters to back them.

“We are in a different province, I think Banyana last played here in 2014. They are excited to be here – we got a warm welcome where we are staying and we are looking forward to playing in another World Cup stadium, training was good, and we look forward to our last training.

“I’m really looking forward to the fans coming in numbers. I know Banyana is much loved around the country and yah we are in the different province and hopefully the fans can come out in numbers to support this wonderful team,” Ellis concluded.

© Vuyo Ndudane