2022 AWCON: SA coach points to experience after qualifying

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis says her players showed courage
Coach of South Africa’s senior women’s national team, Desiree Ellis, has credited her team for showing courage to book their place at the 2022 African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON), which will be hosted by Morocco.

Banyana Banyana, as the team is affectionately known, confirmed their place in the competition by beating north Africans Algeria 3-1 on aggregate. The first leg, which was played at Orlando Stadium in South Africa, finished 2-0 to Ellis’ side and the second leg, played in Algeria on Wednesday 23 February, ended 1-1 at Stade Omar Hamadi.

“Our finishing was poor. We could have been three or four nil up before they even scored the goal. Also, our defending could have been. But this team has got a lot of courage and this team has been in this position before,” Ellis said to the media at the stadium after the game.

"We just needed to keep on playing. We felt that they were not a threat, except for the long balls and set pieces that they had. We urged the players not to give away free kicks around the area, but we handled that very well. We always knew that we were going to get a chance.”

The 2022 AWCON will be played in Morocco from 2-23 July. This is a competition South Africa has never won and they will be hoping to finally get their hands on the trophy, considering they have more stars who now ply their trade in Europe. Their experience will come in handy as they look to win their maiden title.

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