Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
1 minute read
25 Sep 2018
2:34 pm

Banyana coach in SA football folklore

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Desiree Ellis wrote her name in the South African football history books again when she won the Cosafa Women's Cup for the second successive time as a coach after Banyana Banyana beat Cameroon 2-1 at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

Desiree Ellis, Coach of Banyana Banyana (l) and Janine van Wyk of South Africa celebrates with the trophy during the 2018 Cosafa Womens Championship Final football match between Cameroon and South Africa at Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth © Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Last year, Ellis became the first South African male or female to have won the men’s or women’s Cosafa Cup as a player (in 2002) and a coach when she guided Banyana to victory against hosts Zimbabwe by the same scoreline.

The Banyana coach credited her team’s fighting spirit for winning the match courtesy of midfielder Refiloe Jane’s brace, with the midfielder scoring the winning goal in the dying minutes with penalties already on the coach’s mind.

“It was a tough match. It was very tactical and we almost cancelled each other out. When we got the goal we settled down nicely, but they are that good, they came back. The beauty of our team is that we never give up,” said Ellis.

“We were already warming up our goalkeeper, who is good with penalties, but when we scored the winning goal we just decided to leave the team like that. We are a team who fights for each other … we play until the final whistle.”

Jane, meanwhile, failed to convert many chances she had prior to this game. However, she says her team-mates and coach kept her motivated and told her she would do well in the final.

“We can never thank God enough, this is all His doing. We came here wanting to retain the title and we did that, but it wasn’t easy.

“All the teams wanted to beat us, we just needed to stay together as a team no matter what happened and we couldn’t have done it without each other,” said Jane.

“The team kept me going, they told me the final was mine and I was going to score goals – even the coach told me that.”


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