Tshepo Ntsoelengoe 
2 minute read
5 Nov 2020
3:38 pm

 We were playing too far from each other – Dludlu

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe 

It was not a start she hoped for, but Bantwana coach Simphiwe Dludlu says having stayed long without playing competitive football they found it very difficult to play against Zambia in their first match of the Under-17 Cosafa Cup. 

Simphiwe Dludlu, coach of South Africa women's U17 team (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Bantwana lost the tie 2-1 having taken the lead in Port Elizabeth, only to allow Zambia to come back into the game.

Dludlu explains that her charges were not playing close to each other which made it impossible for them to share the ball, while the Zambians remained compact and winning all the second balls.

But the rustiness of her charges showed throughout the game, which saw Zambia going on to win the tie.

“It was an open game honestly because we were pounding on each other. And in the first half you could say that we had an upper hand. But playing against the wind  … we were trying to put the ball on the ground and play, but it was not forthcoming because we were playing too far from each other,” said the Bantwana coach.

“We couldn’t create enough opportunities and chances to play. They were resistant also, they were dropping very low to deny the space behind them and we needed to play in front of them because the triangles were not close to one another so it was not easy to break them down. In the second half … they overloaded their midfield and we were still playing away from each other and they were winning the first and second ball.”

The Bantwana coach believes they lost the match due to their own mistakes.

“The opportunities they got were from our mistakes as well. I mean it’s a throw in, a player leaves the runner –  cross in and then the keeper tries to save (and it’s a goal) that easy.”

The South Africans will be hoping for a better performance and more importantly a victory when they come up against Zimbabwe on Friday.

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