South Africa left it late to blossom at the ongoing Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. But they did, when it mattered most, thanks to the belief in the team, according to interim coach, Desiree Ellis.
Twice they literarily tilled the pitch of the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde but not even a goal was produced. However, they solidly dispatched Egypt 5-0 on Friday at the Limbe Ominisport stadium to safely sail into the knockout round of the tournament.
“It’s belief, you’ve got to have belief and we’ve had belief all along,” Ellis stated at the post-match press conference.
“We knew that we had goals in us. Against Zimbabwe we had a lot of chances against Cameroon, not so many, but we really played well.
“We just needed to have the belief (against Egypt). In the first half, we scored one goal but we always had the belief that we could get more, and we could play better. I’m not just happy about the result, but also about the performance especially in the second half.
Since the start of the tournament, goal scoring has been the biggest issue for South Africa, but with Andisiwe Mgcoyi, Refiloe Jane, Nothando Vilakazi, Jeremaine Seoposenwe and Linda Mothlhalo, all getting on the score sheet against Egypt, confidence has definitely been restored to the team.
“We just wanted to make sure that we got the result that we wanted. We wanted to make sure that we put it out of the hands of the Zimbabweans,” Ellis continued.
“Fortunately we scored from most of the opportunities we created, and that is what we’ve been looking for since the beginning of the tournament.
“We would always create chances. We took five (against Egypt). Hopefully going forward we would be able to take more.”
Having finished as runners-up of Group A, South Africa will on November 29 face the winner of Group B at the Limbe Ominisport Stadium for a place in the final.