Banyana coach Desiree Ellis shows her frustration on the sidelines during the Madagascar match. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has called on her players to finish their opportunities when they take on Botswana in the Cosafa Women’s Championship on Friday.

Banyana got off to a winning start with a 2-1 triumph over Madagascar at Wolfson Stadium near Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

But after being reduced to 10 players when Thato Letsoso received a second yellow card, those misses in front of goal nearly proved costly as they had to hang on for victory in the second half.

Khanya Xesi and Nothando Vilakazi’s first-half goals proved to be enough on the day, but Ellis has warned her team that things will be tougher against Botswana on Friday (3.30pm kickoff).

“I thought we started really, really well. Passed the ball around really well, at high speed, and got the two goals. And after that, we almost stopped playing – lost concentration a lot of times, and just ran with the ball when we said we needed to play the ball around,” Ellis said afterwards.

“Then we conceded a very silly goal – I thought that could’ve been avoided with a little bit more communication and concentration at the back.

“But then it became a bit of a battle. We got back into the dressing room and tried to settle things down. Then we got a second yellow card (which is a red card), but we really regrouped and had quite a lot of opportunities after that to score.

“We created a lot of opportunities, but their goalkeeper was the player of the match. We know the game against Botswana won’t be easy either, as we have played them often enough, and they know us as much as we know them.

“We need to get a lot more shots on target, and a lot more goals. But we need to improve as a whole.”

 

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