Bafana Bafana

Ellis on Banyana victory: 'I challenged them to break the record'

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Desiree Ellis (Gallo Images)
Desiree Ellis (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis revealed that she urged her players at half-time to break the previous long-standing record.

South Africa started the defence of their COSAFA Women's Championship title with a dominant 17-0 victory over Comoros in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday afternoon.

The national women's team had 9 different goal scorers – Refiloe Jane (4), Amanda Mthandi (3), Bambanani Mbane (2), Hildah Magaia (2), Ode Fulutudilu (1), Kholosa Biyana (1), Busisiwe Ndimeni (1), Tiisetso Makhubela (1), Mamello Makhabane (1) and an own goal from Comoros.

The result is not only the biggest ever victory in the COSAFA tournament but also Banyana Banyana’s biggest victory ever.

Banyana Banyana broke the long-standing record, beating the previous best scoreline of 15-0 registered by Zimbabwe against Lesotho 17 years ago in their Group A clash in 2002.

Despite not knowing anything about their opponents, coach Desiree reveals that they wanted to get things right after returning from a disappointing Women’s World Cup campaign in France.

"We wanted to make sure that we do our things right. We spoke about coming back from the world cup and making sure that we keep the same level," she said in the post-match press conference.

"I thought we did that very well today. We needed to show why we were at the world cup and what lessons we learned.

"Sometimes we’ve played teams in the past and we can’t get going. Sometimes when you play a weaker team, you get dragged down and you cannot play but this group just kept the level up.

"I think we hit the crossbar about four or five times, maybe even more."

Ellis added: "I challenged them at half-time when we were 6-0 up, I said, 'guys we can break this record. I last played when we had the record. So, let's break this record'.

"You play football to break records and I challenged them. They went out there and really played."

Banyana Banyana’s next encounter is against Malawi on Friday, August 2 at the Wolfson Stadium.

Kick-off is at 15:30.

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