Banyana Banyana ready to ‘set the bar high’ against Malawi

Johannesburg – The South African national women’s team will welcome the visitors, Malawi as they kick-off their COSAFA Cup encounter against the strong Scorchers this afternoon.

Banyana Banyana who are the COSAFA Cup defending champions, come into this tournament in buoyant mood after winning the inaugural Aisha Buhari Invitational tournament in Nigeria.

Speaking about the team participation in this tournament, Banyana coach Desiree Ellis who has her eyes set on the AWCON qualifiers said she was looking forward to this year’s COSAFA Cup tournament.

“We will come to this contest striving to be on top of the game, and this is not the first time we face Malawi, as we played with them in the previous games, and we have secured all victories,” said Ellis.

“But we are not expecting an easy game, we will have to execute our plans that we sail a win in this game, as we are not looking forward to conceding goals,” she added.

Coach Ellis said it is very imperative to start well in this major tournament to get winning in the first game.

“Our preparations for COSAFA Cup have been well, as we played well in Buhari Cup, and more players will be part of this tournament,” said Ellies.

Ellis said the team has recalled eleven players who featured for Buhari Cup.

While others who were part of the camp for Buhari Cup preparations also received a call, this includes: Mandisa Faya, Karabo Makhurubetshi, Oratile Mokwena, Salome Kekana and Ntombifikile Ndlovu.

“Most players in the squad are not new to this tournament, they have featured for COSAFA Cup before, whereas others have made their debut on Buhari Cup, surely they are all prepared,” said Ellis.

Janine Van Wyk will be the only overseas-based player who is part of the squad as the tournament falls outside the FIFA calendar and selection focuses on mainly locally based players.

Coach Ellis said she will continue rotating her captains in a bid to grow several leaders within the team.

“The tournament takes place outside the FIFA calendar and our overseas players are not available, Janine was the only one available for selection as she is in the country,” said Ellis.

The team had their first training session on Monday afternoon as part of preparations for the opening game at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.

The kick off time is at 15h30.

The link for the live match can be accessed through the link: https://www.cosafa.tv/?mid=5f801b77c97aa4e552361c34&t=c&fco=0

The tournament fixture for Banyana Banyana in Group A is as follows:

South Africa vs Malawi – 28 September 2021

South Africa vs Angola ­– 1 October 2021

South Africa vs Mozambique – 4 October 2021

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