Banyana Banyana will once again face off with Malawi in the semi-finals of the COSAFA Women’s Championship on Thursday, 7 October.
This will be the second meeting of the two teams in this tournament currently taking place in Gqeberha. The two sides met in the tournament opener on 28 September in which South Africa walked away 2-1 winners.
South Africa finished the Group stages as Group A winners and Malawi finished second in the same group. Thursday’s encounter will determine who proceeds to the final and coach Desiree Ellis will be hoping to make it a fifth title in a row. Malawi on the other end will be aiming for a first-ever final since the tournament was established.
Banyana Banyana had their final training session on Wednesday afternoon and Ellis has emphasized that there will be no room for error going to the semi-final against Malawi.
“I think as the tournament has progressed, we have gotten better in terms of what we want to do, we started being true to who we are, putting the ball down and moving it around but there is still room for improvement,” said Desiree Ellis.
“In the game against Mozambique we had 26 goal attempts and 13 on target in which we scored three. We have to improve the ratio of goal attempts to goals scored because in the game against Malawi there will be no room for error or second chances. We know that it won’t be an easy game, it will be as difficult as the first game was but if we are true to who we are, and will execute our plan accordingly.”
Ellis said it was important for Banyana Banyana to minimize mistakes and maintain high concentration levels for the duration of the game as Malawians are tenacious and don’t easily give up.
The coach also said Malawi had improved a great deal from the previous year.
“This time around they have come out very physical in their approach, they never stop running and they are deadly with set pieces and that’s one thing we have been working on.
“This is a different game with no second chances so you have to make sure that you execute the plan well to move forward and we have to make sure that we do our job in the best way we can,” concluded Ellis.