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Ellis ’trusts and believes’ in Banyana players

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis cut an unshaken figure ahead of her team’s vital Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) first leg qualifier against Algeria, saying she believes in her squad’s quality.

It’s been a relatively underwhelming start to the year for Banyana. They suffered a 3-0 defeat in a friendly match away to Zambia at the weekend.

Banyana, however, will get an opportunity to churn out a convincing outing when they welcome Algeria at Orlando Stadium on Friday afternoon (15:00).

“It is matchday one and it was just about finalising everything and for the players to get the feel of the stadium,” said Ellis.

“Leading up to this a lot of preparations was done to know what it is that we wanted to do. We just needed to come to the field and try and do similar things. It’s now up to the players.

“We are used to this weather even though a group of our players come from Europe and some of their players come from Europe as well, even though it’s overcast it’s still hot and we have to take advantage of that and the fact that we are playing at home to make sure that we get positive results to make the second leg much easier,” added Ellis.

With ambitions of playing in the AWCON tournament, Banyana will be hoping to get the job done at home before travelling to Algeria for the second leg on Wednesday, 23 February 2022.

But they are coming up against a side that has tasted defeat one and netted 28 goals in their last six matches.

“We know that it won’t be an easy game, Algeria has shown that they are a powerful team in the African continent and can’t be taken lightly and we keep repeating that message over and over to the players,” said the Banyana mentor.

“They will be up for it and likewise we have to be up for it and we have to be better.”

The last time, Alegria faced Banyana, the north Africans were hammered 5-1 back in 2014, a result Ellis will be hoping for.

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