Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has raised concerns over the team’s fitness levels after the 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Netherlands in an international friendly played at The Hague.

While she feels the fitness levels have improved, she admitted they were far from what they envisage.

“Our fitness is nowhere near where it should be, even though we are six weeks further from the Algerian game, but our fitness has improved. A big thanks to the coaches because a lot of clubs play friendlies and tournaments,” Ellis said after Tuesday night’s game.

Banyana continue their preparations for the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations to be hosted in Morocco, and Ellis challenged her team to take their chances. 

Noko Matlou missed a penalty

“At this level, it’s about moments, and they played moments better than us. We had moments to score and change the game; when they had the moments, they scored, and that’s the difference on this level. We created some chances, and in crucial moments when we looked like we were getting back to the game, we concede,” said Ellis.

“We had opportunities to change the scoreline; we didn’t take our chances; that penalty could have made it 3-2. It was about us testing ourselves on the ball, and at times, I felt we didn’t put the ball on the ground often enough.”

The 59-year-old also lamented her team’s poor defending of set pieces saying it cost them the game.

“We didn’t handle those set pieces very well, we are not happy about the scoreline, but the performance in patches shows what we need to do. We didn’t trust ourselves fair enough.”

Thembi Kgatlana scored the consolation goal in the first half before fluffing several chances. Noko Matlou also missed a penalty.

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