JOHANNESBURG – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis says while she was unhappy losing 3-0 to the No 1-world-ranked USA Women’s team at Levi's Stadium in California on Sunday, she was satisfied with the preparation of her side.
"We had one or two opportunities in the second half where we could have caught them on the counter, but wrong decision-making and soft passes cost us.
"At times we just panicked and kicked the ball away, and there were one or two occasions when we nearly caught them on the counter. "
Ellis said she was happy with the team in the early stages of the match.
"There used to be a time when we would concede in the first 10 or 15 minutes, and we always pride ourselves on being defensively organised and today it showed with Janine (van Wyk) marshalling the defence really well.
"Everybody played their part in that first 30 minutes, they put in a good shift but when we won the ball our decision-making could have been more effective. We could have moved the ball more but sometimes we just kicked it away.
"Then we conceded late in the first half. I felt we were very organised, but we knew they were a quality team and that it would be a huge test."
Ellis said when she started making changes in the second half, Banyana's rhythm was upset and she felt the two goals they conceded late in the match could have been avoided as well.
Banyana Banyana also had some injury scares with Mamello Makhabane withdrawn from the starting line-up due to a knee injury, while goalkeeper Andile Dlamini and defender Noko Matlou were replaced during the game because of injuries.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.
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.
Banyana Banyana’s assignment is against Norway on June 2 in Amiens, France – just a few days before the start of the World Cup from June 7 to July 7.
African News Agency (ANA)