Banyana Banyana of South Africa exit the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup (FIFAWWC) having lost all three group stage games but coach Desiree Ellis and her players won’t be saying goodbye to the tournament without thanking their fans who have made the tournament worthwhile.
Assessing South African’s maiden appearance at the FIFAWWC “This was always going to be a difficult group but we felt that if we played well we could get some positive results,” Desiree Ellis began.
“I felt we deserved more against Spain, but we didn’t play as well as we could have against China – and that turned this match against Germany into a final. Unfortunately we started poorly, conceded two poor goals and were always on the back foot after that. I felt we panicked a bit in that first half. We told the players to calm down and play our brand of football, and they did that in the second half.
“I think our style of football has attracted a lot of fans and I’m very grateful to the South African fans who came out to watch our games and those back home who watched on TV. We always knew it was going to be a challenge. We are happy with the performance but not the results.”
Speaking on Banyana Banyana’s legacy in their maiden appearance Ellis said: “First of all, we hope that some of the players were scouted as that would be a plus not just for the national team but for everyone back home creating opportunities for other players to go abroad and join some of the ones we have there. It will also help other kids to aspire to be in their position.
“We also hope that more sponsors will come on board to effect more competitions and playing time for players but we’ve got to consistently play at the highest level, compete and we will get better and better and the sky will be the limit for this team,” she added.