Ellis content as Banyana demolish Mozambique
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis was thrilled with her side's performance after hammering Mozambique 7-0 in their Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifier at the Estádio do Zimpeto in Maputo.
A brace each by Gabriela Salgado, Linda Motlhalo and goals from Melinda Kgadiete, Janine van Wyk, Noxolo Cesane saw Banyana taking a solid advantage going into the second leg.
The return leg between Banyana and Mozambique will take place on Tuesday at Dobsonville Stadium.
“We knew that we needed to start well, be positive and get good results here [in Mozambique]," she said.
“So we take the pressure off us going back to SA.
“I thought we were so good on the ball, in the way we opened them up, and we hit the post five times if I am not mistaken.”
Ellis said she was pleased by the performance displayed by her charges, and the eagerness they showed throughout the game.
“And we had the two players, Gab [Gabriela] and Linda, who I thought were really solid at the back and created plenty of opportunities,” she said.
“By halftime we were already 3-0 up.
“I think our movement off the ball, our passing was really better, the way we controlled every aspect of the game, and also the tempo.
“I thought our performance was really professional and we came here to do the job and we did it.”
Banyana's debutant Asanda Hadebe, who was also a top performer on the day, impressed Ellis.
The Banyana mentor said more new players should be given an opportunity to showcase what they are capable of in the national team.
“We also gave a debut to Asanda and she had an assist. I know that she played in the U2O not so long ago,” she said.
“We need to bring [new] players all the time and make sure that we keep on giving opportunities and refreshing the squad.
“We know a lot of players played in the Buhari Cup and Cosafa Cup, and that was the reasoning behind making those changes to give players an opportunity to play.
“We owe SA a performance and we want to say thank you for supporting us. I felt the players were magnificent.”
Ellis left out Atletico Madrid striker Thembi Kgatlana in the starting line-up and put her faith in Kgadiete and Motlhalo to get the goals for the team, and they did not disappoint.
“This was an important game for us ... you know if you want to go to Africa Women Cup of Nations this is where it starts,” she said.
“We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare because we only came to camp on October 18 and some of our players like Thembi and Hilda only arrived [the day before the game], that’s why we didn’t put them in the XI.
“They [Kgatlana and Magaia] travelled for 20 hours or so, we needed to take care of them.”