2018 AWCON Final: We won’t under estimate Nigeria – Ellis


Desiree Ellis coach South Africa during the Internationa Womens Friendly match between Zimbabwe and South Africa 10 November 2016 at National Stadium, Zimbabwe Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana of South Africa coach Desirée Ellis says her team will not under estimate Nigeria when they clash in the finals of the 11th Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday in Accra, Ghana.

Ellis who made history by being the first coach to have ever qualified Banyana Banyana to FIFA Women’s World Cup says it’s difficult to beat a team twice in a competition but they will give their all when they clash against Nigeria at the Accra Sports Stadium.

“We won’t under estimate Nigeria, we know it’s going to be a different type of game, it may be an ugly or exciting game. We don’t know but I can assure you that my team will go all out to give their best as we always do, we will make sure the players execute the plan and if we get the goals we want, the result will go our way.

“Nigeria have always been in this position, we have hardly been in this position, we go in without any fear knowing we have nothing to lose. We have prepared the team the best we can, now we have to execute the play and hope the plans work so that we would be up there in the podium,” Ellis optimistic.

Ellis further said that they may have achieved their main aim which is to secure world cup ticket but at this stage where they are, they feel it’s possible make another history by winning the trophy for the first time.

“You know we spoke about going to the World Cup and we also said if you come to a tournament, it will be naive if you don’t want to win it because I think the ambition of other countries was to come here and win it, we are no different but we want to make sure if any way we fall short, we get the qualification for World Cup which we did but it’s a different ball game now.

“We are in the final, it’s always difficult to beat a team twice in same competition, you know Nigeria have been there, they know how to close it up but for my players, they have the never die attitude, they have achieved what they wanted to achieve but it’s possible to make history twice in one tournament,” said Ellis.

Ellis went on to say that the team will surely miss the vice captain of the team Refiloe Jane who went back to her club Canberra United in Australia after the semifinal match against Mali but assured that they have utility players in the squad that will have opportunity to shine.

Ellis added; “You will always miss your players but we have a squad of players that we can utilize. When we selected the squad, we looked at utility and versatility, our players can play in different positions. It’s always an opportunity for someone else to step up, always opportunity for someone else to shine because this opens up another door for another individual, not just in the team but with a lot of scouts around, it opens up another door for someone to get contract and it’s important for us.”

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