Bafana Bafana

Ellis: 'Banyana improving despite defeat to USA'

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 02: Janine van Wyk, Desiree Ellis and Emma Hendricks during the Banyana Banyana Arrival Press Conference at OR Tambo International Airport on December 02, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 02: Janine van Wyk, Desiree Ellis and Emma Hendricks during the Banyana Banyana Arrival Press Conference at OR Tambo International Airport on December 02, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Banyana Banyana head coach, Desiree Ellis, says while she is not happy with the results against the USA Women's National Team, she is satisfied with the preparations of her side.

South Africa lost 3-0 to the world champions and the number one ranked team in women’s football.

The match, which was part of preparations for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next month (7 June to 7 July), was played on Sunday at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California in the USA.

"It was a very improved performance despite the result," Ellis said. "That's what you look for when you don't get the result you wanted and we conceded some silly goals late on in the game, but we gave them problems in the first half."

"Heading to the World Cup it always helps to win a game, it gives you a little bit of confidence and our previous games some of them were winnable. We've got to go into the World Cup with a win though and we have to improve on this performance.

"We need to replicate our positive first-half performance but over a full game to prepare us for our first game against Spain, Ellis added.

Banyana Banyana also had some injury scares with Mamello Makhabane withdrawn from the starting line up due to a knee injury, while goalkeeper Andile Dlamini and defender Noko Matlou were replaced during the game because of injuries – but Ellis is confident these are not serious injuries.

South Africa conceded goals in the 37th and 78th minutes through a brace from Samantha Mewis, and also from a strike by second half substitute Carli Lloyd in referee’s optional time.

The squad returns home on Wednesday, May 15 and is expected to land at 08:00.

Banyana Banyana’s next assignment is against Norway on June 2 in Amiens, France - just a few days before the start of the World Cup.

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