Thembi Kgatlana and Hilda Magaia sat out Banyana Banyana’s Africa Women’s Cup qualifier against Mozambique in Maputo on Wednesday.
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Head coach Desiree Ellis has explained why the duo didn’t feature in the match.
Ellis says medical issues are the major reasons why the two players weren’t considered for the match.
Kgatlana, who is based in Spain turning out for Atletico Madrid ladies and Magaia in Sweden for Moron BK, both sat on the stands as the South African senior national women’s team recorded a 7-0 first leg victory over Mozambique in Maputo.
“Not just Thembi (that we did not play), but Hilda as well. She flew on Monday and only arrived after our training session on Tuesday. The same with Thembi, she had a 20 hours flight. Medically, it was not possible to put them in pitch. That’s just asking for a major injury, you have to take care of the players and make sure they don’t pick up any injuries and that was important for us. We have to take care of the health of the players and that was the reason (for not playing them) after consulting with our chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya,” said the Banyana mentor.
“Not playing both of them for us was important as I said, it’s not about the 20 hours of travel, but the travelling fatigue. So, it was important for us to make sure (that they rest). The support they gave from the stands was positive. We had to make sure that Thembi is ready for the next game. It would have been very cruel of us to play her considering how far she has traveled and how long she has traveled.”
But, both Kgatlana and Magaia should be ready for the return leg against the Mozambicans on Tuesday, 26 October at the Dobsonville Stadium.