The 59-year-old reflected on the seven-time Cosafa champions’ win and she was disappointed to see her charges become complacent
South Africa women’s team head coach Desiree Ellis revealed how her charges were able to cope with the atmosphere during the 2022 Wafcon final on Saturday night.
The accomplished tactician masterminded Banyana Banyana’s 2-1 win over tournament hosts Morocco in the final in front of over 45,000 Moroccan fans who used laser beams to distract South African players at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
Ellis, who recently scooped her third successive Caf African Women’s Coach of the Year award, reminded her players of their previous matches when their backs were against the wall.
“We spoke yesterday about us going to Equatorial Guinea to come out with a 1-0 win [in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games qualifier],” Ellis told SuperSport TV.
“And us going to Rio [Olympic Games], playing Brazil at the biggest stadium in the world with the fans singing the national anthem and us having goosebumps.
“Also us coming up against Cameroon in Cameroon [at the 2016 Wafcon finals].”
Hildah Magaia scored twice in the second half for Banyana against the Lionesses of Atlas and Ellis explained that they had to subdue the Moroccan fans in order to stand a good chance of winning the match.
However, the diminutive tactician rued conceding through Rosella Ayane’s strike with 10 minutes left after her side became complacent.
“We felt that once we got control of the match it would be easy to subdue their fans which we did. When we scored the first goal the fans became quieter,” the former Banyana coach continued.
“We kept complete control of the match. We could have scored two or three more goals. I felt that we conceded too early.
“This was after we became a little bit complacent, but we stuck out and we fought until the bitter end. All glory to God.”
Banyana won the Wafcon title for the first time having lost in five finals and they are set to compete in the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup finals. – goal