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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Ellis admits Biyana switch boosted Banyana

'Making the substitution of Kholosa, pushing Linda a little bit further up, gave us something going forward,' said the Banyana head coach.

A tactical change in the second half, to bring on midfielder Kholosa Biyana against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), worked for Banyana Banyana on Monday, says head coach Desiree Ellis.

Banyana and the DRC met for the second leg of their Caf Olympic qualifier at the Orlando Stadium, which saw the home side managing to edge the visitors 2–0, and progress to the next round 3-1 on aggregate.

The hosts were struggling to get a goal but Biyana’s introduction in the match made things easier, and it was Thembi Kgatlana who scored two goals.

“Even the first game we had only one training session together and we had to put a new back line together. And I thought we didn’t start well, but we ended the game really well. We knew that we had to take charge of the game at home,” said Ellis after the match.

“Andile Dlamini made a really great save at the beginning that kept us in the game. They had one or two half chances, but so did we.

“We could have gone into half-time with a lead. We just said keep intensity up, keep the work up, the gaps will come, let’s move the ball around quicker and that’s what we did in the second half. Making the substitution of Kholosa, pushing Linda (Mothlalo) a little bit further up, gave us something going forward. Then came the goal – keeping the ball and making sure we didn’t concede was really key.”

Proud Ellis

Ellis says she kept on telling her team to keep the tempo of the game high and she was proud of her newly-formed defence.

“I said if we don’t concede we are going to create chances, which we did. But we still had that problem of not finishing teams off when we have opportunities, that’s one thing we really need to work on,” she added.

“I’m very proud of the team and as I said, we have new backline, a very young backline, there were so many players who were not available and they stood up over these two games.”

Banyana will meet either Botswana or Tanzania in the third round of qualifying, with those teams set to lock-horns on Tuesday.

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