South Africa’s female national team, Banayana Banayana coach, Desiree Ellis has admitted that her side will find it tough against Nigeria’s Super Falcons when both sides clash at the Africa Women Nations Cup in Ghana, because their opponents have greater quality and value.
Speaking of her projections ahead of the November 17 opening Group B battle between both teams in Cape Coast, Ghana, Ellis said Nigeria will again be favourites because of their array of players based overseas, which she admits makes the defending champions very formidable.
Ellis added that, in terms of experience and pedigree, all permutations will be in favour of Nigeria beating her side at the start of their AWCON 2019 campaign, but added that it does not mean Banyana will enter the game with a negative mentality, footballlive.ng reports.
Rather than give up before the match, Ellis stressed that she and her players will prepare in the best way possible and hope to take their chances during the game, from which she believes they can gain a lift or two that would help them in the other games against Kenya and Zambia.
The Banyana former captain said her side’s ambition will be winning a first-ever African title and to secure a qualification ticket to France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Having finished as runners-up four times, Banyana Banyana are eyeing a maiden African crown, as they prepare to line out against the eight-time winners Nigeria, as well as Zambia and Kenya, in Group B.
Ellis, however, admitted that the opener with Nigeria will be the biggest and most important match for South Africa at Ghana 2018.
She retorted: “Nigeria have a lot of quality players who play abroad in top leagues and that experience you cannot buy.
“The fact that they are the defending champions says a lot about the quality they have.
“We will also be able to have a look at Zambia and Kenya in their first fixture at the tournament. I’m sure, the neutrals would have wanted that.
“The most important match is the first game and it cannot come bigger than playing Nigeria. You have to be on top of your game from the start.”