Cape Town - Banyana Banyana returned back home to a heroes' welcome after finishing as runners-up in the 2018 Women's African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and as a result qualifying for the Women's World Cup for the first time ever.
In emotional scenes, Banyana were greeted by a jam-packed OR Tambo International filled with adoring fans after clinching the silver medal. Banyana suffered a narrow defeat to eventual winners, Nigeria 4-3 on penalties in Ghana, on Saturday.
South Africa previously brushed aside Mali 2-0 in the semi-final to secure their ticket to France - with Ellis becoming the first coach to lead Banyana to a World Cup. The former captain also holds the record of winning the COSAFA Women's Championship as both player and coach.
Crowd welcoming Banyana Banyana from Ghana at ORTambo International Airport on Sunday, 2 December 2018 pic.twitter.com/KKi1CgodXx— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) December 2, 2018
All I can say is I am so EXTREMELY PROUD of every team member. We have fought like WARRIORS throughout this tournament. Unfortunately we lossed on Penalties which couldve gone either way. We came here with a goal to achieve & I can proudly say we have accomplished it! ???? pic.twitter.com/dpe03P7dWG— Janine Van Wyk (@Janinevanwyk5) December 1, 2018