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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Banyana in good mood ahead of Tunisia clash

Banyana are set to meet the Eagles of Carthage in Rabat on Thursday.

Desiree Ellis says the mood in the Banyana Banyana camp is high despite the team’s challenges ahead of their quarterfinal clash with Tunisia in the Caf Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon).

ALSO READ: Banyana hit by Covid-19 ahead of Wafcon quarterfinals

Banyana will have to do the job without star player Thembi Kgatlana, who is ruled out of the tournament due to an ACL injury and there are also some Covid-19 cases in the team going into their clash with the Eagles of Carthage in Rabat, Morocco on Thursday.

Ellis reckons when such incidents happen it is just an opportunity for other players in the team to step up and do the job.

“It went very well, we worked on a few things that we intend to do in the game. I was very excited to see what transpired, the mood is high and the players are looking forward to the game, which is a good sign.

“Players are friends with Thembi because she has been in the team for a very long time, but there are also players who are much closer, but they have responded really well. We know why we are here, losing Thembi was a huge blow. But we lost Gabi (Gabriela Salgado) before the tournament, but other players stepped up. We know Thembi is a quality top player, but it is also an opportunity for others to step up. Other countries have lost players also, Nigeria lost Assisat Oshoala, Botswana lost a player as well. So, it is another opportunity for others to step up,” said the Banyana mentor.

“We know why we are here and we reminded the players why we are here. Thembi also reminded them that the journey still continues. Our first aim is to qualify for the World Cup, that game is almost upon us.”

The Banyana coach added that her team selection was based on the possibility of finding themselves in such situations, and now the players need to show how versatile they are.

“We selected the squad for every eventuality, we didn’t expect this. But now the versatility has to come through and it has to show. But what I saw at training was very encouraging.”

The winner of this tie booking a ticket to next year’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

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