Banyana need quick turnaround in fortunes after falling to Ghana

2014-05-19 09:03

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Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw needs to understand that the best way to defend is to attack to turn the national team’s fortunes around ahead of the African Women’s Championship (AWC) qualifiers later this month.

They are due to visit Comoros next Friday for the first leg of the qualifier before the Indian Ocean islanders visit SA a fortnight later.

The AWC showpiece will take place in Namibia later this year but Banyana cannot afford anything less than winning the tournament after finishing second in the championship two years ago.

Pauw, who took over from Joseph Mkhonza this year, must try to capitalise on Banyana’s attacking potential, given the problems in defence.

The defensive approach Banyana employed at Dobsonville, Soweto, yesterday in an international friendly against Ghana proved fruitless.

The better part of the first half was dominated by the Black Queens, forcing the home side to defend in numbers.

Even the usually prolific Portia Modise, who played only her second game for Banyana since 2012, struggled upfront as a lone striker but coach Pauw stubbornly continued with the formation into the second stanza.

Young strikers Shiwe Nogwanya and Silindile Ngubane were left to warm the bench despite Modise’s struggles, a confusing tactical decision by Pauw. The Dutch coach should be building towards taking the team to the World Cup in Canada next year.

Banyana were finally punished for their defensive approach when the visitors took the lead in the 73th minute, courtesy of a Portia Boakye freekick, after Banyana skipper Janine van Wyk committed a foul a few yards from the penalty area.

Banyana’s defensive woes continued but the biggest culprit Van Wyk, who showed signs of being a defensive liability early in the opening half, was only replaced by Amanda Sister five minutes before the final whistle.

Only after conceding the soft goal did Banyana show some attacking prowess as they moved forward in search of an equaliser but again, they were failed by Modise, whose legs looked heavy.

The Black Queens held on for a 1-0 win.

Pauw is yet to win after two games in charge. Banyana played to a 2-2 draw against Zimbabwe last month at the same venue.

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