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Banyana’s winning ways continue in Zimbabwe

Interim coach Desiree Ellis notched up another victory as the Banyana Banyana national senior women’s side beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in an international friendly in Harare, Zimbabwe on Thursday.
The clash was in preparation for the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament to be held in Cameroon from 19 November to 3 December.
A brace by Thembi Kgatlana in either half of the match, as well as a goal from Leandra Smeda was enough to give the visitors victory and showcased that Ellis means business with impressive results.
‘While the game was a friendly, it got more and more intense as both teams showed off their competitiveness. We are excited about the growth and development of women’s football and we are proud of our contribution to government’s transformation agenda,’ said Ellis.
‘I made changes in this game because I needed to see what other players can offer in a match situation and I am impressed with what I saw. Every coach that goes into a match looks for a win, but for me the bigger picture was to test as many players as possible and I am glad the exercise worked well.
‘If you can leave out some regulars in the starting lineup and still manage a win, that is something to be proud of. And getting a victory ahead of a big tournament is a morale booster for the entire team.’
This was her second win in as many matches – Banyana Banyana beat Egypt 3-1 in Ellis’s first match in charge last month.
This is more evidence that the team will do South Africa proud in Cameroon.
Banyana Banyana are in Group A, together with hosts Cameroon, Egypt and Zimbabwe while Group B consists of Nigeria, Mali, Ghana and Kenya.
‘We need to continue to celebrate our talent, especially considering the overwhelming success of Banyana Banyana in recent years. It is a good and well-balanced squad and I am confident we are picking up from where we left off during the Olympics,’ added Ellis.
The South Africans return home on Friday and then fly out to Cameroon next Tuesday.


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