Banyana is doing the country proud

Desiree Ellis, coach of South Africa, during the Banyana Banyana afternoon training session. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Desiree Ellis, coach of South Africa, during the Banyana Banyana afternoon training session. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Banyana have a current generation of players brimming with talent, with the likes of Thembi Kgatlana and Refiloe Jane lighting up the tournament.

Banyana Banyana have made a brilliant start to their 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Ghana, first taking down tournament favourites Nigeria and then hammering Equatorial Guinea 7-1 on Wednesday to seal their position at the top of Group B.

Desiree Ellis is so far proving that the SA Football Association were right to appoint her permanent head coach, even if the association did take an inordinate amount of time dithering, following the departure of Vera Pauw after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Banyana have a current generation of players brimming with talent, with the likes of Thembi Kgatlana, who scored a magical winning goal against Nigeria, and Refiloe Jane lighting up the tournament thus far.

For Banyana, however, there is still a job to complete, starting with today’s final group match against Zambia in Accra, where a point will guarantee them top spot in Group B and probably an easier semifinal.

Banyana would, no doubt, love to be crowned champions of Africa, but the ultimate aim has to be to finish at least third, and qualify for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France next year. Banyana have played in two Olympic Games in a row, but never in a World Cup finals.

What an achievement that would be.

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