Desiree Ellis insist that the Bayana Bayana of South Africa are into the AWCON to win it after her side beat Nigeria in their first match of the tournament.

The former midfielder is aware of the past woes of South Africa after failing to win the tournament in four finals (1995,2000,2008,2012), but admit her side have what it takes to win it in Ghana.

“The first game of every tournament is big. You have to win it. In 2016 we drew with Zambia and we were always on the back foot and it doesn’t come easy against Nigeria. So it was a big game for us not just the three points but psychologically as well.

In football the rivalry between Nigeria and South Africa is not just across female football, is across all football.

In performance you couldn’t fault us. We were spot on. It was only the first half that we lost possession too easily and we spoke on that, other than that we defended very well especially set pieces which has been much of concern and we handled it very well.

We give hope to everyone at home.” The 55 year old stated.

The coach also commend the South African football Authorities and their sponsors for good preparation.

“We had a good preparation this year. Our federation and our sponsors were very much sure that we played good Teams. We started with Sweden then we went to the Cyprus camp, played Slovakia, Hungary and Korea DPR over the time and Belgium and we had our qualifier against Lesotho and had one or two selection Camps for the COSAFA  and played it (COCAFA cup). And then we went and played Chile and then Ghana. So we couldn’t complain about preparation but preparation doesn’t guarantee you success.

We make determined analysis on the opponent and the most important thing left is for the players to execute the plan on the pitch.”

For South Africa to realize their aim of world cup qualification and first AWCON win, they need to at least reach the semifinal stage of this Nations Cup.

“You cannot guarantee anything in life but you know you come to a tournament, you come to a game your aim is to win it because if you didn’t come to win it then you shouldn’t be here. But other teams have the same ambition and the ultimate aim is to qualify for the world cup but we have never won the AWCON and it will be naive on us to come to a tournament and not want to win it.”



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