SA’s Cosafa win the fourth in a row
Coach Ellis raises flag to history-making young Banyana outfit
The team won their seventh Cosafa Women’s Championship title and the fourth in a row
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said being crowned winners of the Cosafa Women’s Championship on Saturday was a moment her young players would never forget.
The SA side beat Botswana 2-1 in the final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Goals from Sibulele Holweni and Gabriela Salgado saw Banyana claim their seventh Cosafa Women’s Championship title and the fourth in a row, which is a record.
The win also saw the team go unbeaten in the competition.
There were not as many familiar faces in this year’s squad as in previous years, with only six players returning from the 2019 combination.
However, the youngsters Ellis picked proved their worth and continued where the senior players left off.
“I think, if I look back at all the Cosafas since 2017, we had 10 new players back then who got their first medals,” Ellis said.
“In 2018 we had new players who got their medals in 2019 and in 2020.
I say to the players all the time: ‘Go out and make your mark. Go out and be remembered. Go out and raise your hand.’Desiree Ellis, Banyana Banyana coach
“I say to the players all the time: ‘Go out and make your mark. Go out and be remembered. Go out and raise your hand,’ and now we have a headache (with player selection), but we have a good headache because it has made our core group bigger.
“I think [the celebration for the players] will go on and on because I think this is something that you will never forget.
“I mean, this is an opportunity that you dream of, playing for the national team, and now you have not only played, but you have a gold medal.
“I think if they really look back at what they have achieved, it’s a moment to remember. We had 25 days in our training camp to prepare after being out for seven months.
“I have to applaud the players. They are the key here.”
Ellis said her squad had been pushed by the fitness trainer and technical team and had put in the work.
“We have really worked hard. The analyst was spot on with all the games.
“We stuck to the game plan half and half in the final, but when we did move the ball around we created a lot of opportunities. The assistant coach was fantastic. I can mention each and every one from our support group because we are a team.”
Banyana speedster Hildah Magaia was named Player of the Tournament and Sibulele Holweni won the Golden Boot after scoring eight goals.