Hard-to-please Banyana coach happy with win but not performance

rugby08 October 2023 16:40| © SuperSport
By:Peter Kanjere

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis was happy with her team’s 3-1 win over Madagascar on Saturday afternoon, but certainly not with performance in the Hollywoodbets Cosafa Women’s Championship match.

Ellis expressed her mixed feelings over the result after the Group A match against Madagascar at Dobsonville Stadium revived Banyana’s hopes of a semifinal qualification.

“Look, [I am] happy with the result but the performance ‘no’. When we gave instructions, we said: ‘move the ball around’ yet every ball we played was a long ball. You are never going to compete with those long balls,” she said.

“Unfortunately, running with the ball against someone who is more physical was never going to work…Madagascar might have lost in the first game but they can play and they showed that they can play. We had assigned certain players to certain players,” she said.

Thubelihle Shamase converted a penalty for South Africa in the first half before Samkelisiwe Selana grabbed a second half double after Anajrasoa Velomanantsolo had sneaked in Madagascar’s consolation.

The win saw Banyana bounce back from the opening 3-4 loss to group leaders Malawi on October 4 2023 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.


In another match for the group played on Saturday at noon, the Scorchers of Malawi thumped Eswatini 8-0 with the competition’s leading scorer Temwa Chawinga bagging four goals to make it seven overall.

Eswatini started the race with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Madagascar at the same venue.

The tournament involves 12 teams split into three four-member groups.

Top two sides from each pool will advance to the semifinals.

This 2023 edition of the annual championship runs from October 4 to 15 in the province of Gauteng.

Zambia are the defending champions.