Desiree Ellis urges Banyana to throw everything at Nigeria in “do or die match

Written by on 9 April, 2024

By Ayanda Nyuswa

Banyana Banyana have an uphill battle against a Nigerian team that has a one goal advantage going into the second leg of the final round of Olympic qualifiers. The two sides will meet at Loftus Versfeld Stadium at 19:30 on Tuesday evening, in the latest chapter of their fierce rivalry. For Nigeria it’s a matter of keeping South Africa out and trying to add to their one goal, a penalty scored by Chiwendu Ihezuo in Abuja last week, and South Africa have to win the match to have any chance qualifying for the Paris games.

The winner of the tie will slot into a tough group C in the women’s football tournament alongside world champions Spain, Japan and Brazil in Paris later this year.

South Africa’s long serving coach Desiree Ellis has urged her charges to throw everything at Nigeria as there will be very little margin for error in the match.

“For us it’s a game where we have to put everything in, there is no second guesses there is no second chances. It’s a game where we have to score and try to get back a goal as early as we can, but we know we coming up against a team that are leading 1-0 and we have to ready for every evantuality in the way we think they might play so we have to be ready for that, it’s a do or die match where there is no second chance and we just have to go for it,” said the WAFCON winning coach, speaking to SAFA media ahead of the match.

“It’s gonna be a game where we have to leave everything out on the pitch, we want to be on that plane we wanna make sure we get the result. Playing at home, we have shown that we can score goals but we coming up against a formidable opponent who has been there and done it all, and have a one goal lead so we also got to throw caution to the wind but we still have to go for it.”

Ellis has also called on the South African public to come out in their numbers to support the team at Loftus Versfeld.

“We also ask the fans to come out in their numbers, whenever we travel outside the country the stadiums are always packed so now we urging them to come and support us and be our 12th and 13th player because when the game has been in a lull in the past they have been the people on the back lifting us and raising us. I think it’s most probably the most important game we have played in a really long time, and we need all the support we can get,” Ellis added.


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