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Desiree Ellis explains what went wrong against USA 

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has explained what had gone wrong for her side against the USA women’s team in their two international friendlies. 

South Africa suffered an overall 5-0 defeat to the former FIFA Women’s World Cup champions in the two games. 

The first match was played on Friday, 22 September in Cincinnati at TQL Stadium which Banyana lost 3-0.

The second friendly game took place in Chicago at Soldier Field on Sunday, 24 September 2023, with Ellis’ charges succumbing to a 2-0 defeat. 

Ellis admitted that this was a learning curve for her girls.


“Look, we are breaking and support gets thin. Maybe the decision-making in the final third, looking who is free and making the right runs from behind, not everybody in one position because everyone runs towards the goal and others pull back,” she said. 

“At the time we didn’t have enough numbers in the box when Thembi [Kgatlana] was breaking, maybe one or two. 

“So, that’s something to work on. But you know you have one day in between the games and it’s difficult but we work on those things.”

Desiree Ellis explains what went wrong against USA.
The USA players are in celebratory mood.


The three-time CAF Women’s Coach of the Year went on to reveal that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to avoid such disappointment moving forward. 

“The most important thing for us was to work on set pieces. We know that is going to be a challenge going forward but we got to consistently work on it and be better at it,” added Ellis. 

“Another box we can tick as well, at the time when we move the ball around we keep possession. And at times time we give it away too easily when we could have held on to the ball. 

“But when you get put under so much pressure you need to make a decision very quickly. That’s why playing games like this really tests our players. After the game, we look back at the footage and see what we can do better.”

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