Ahead of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations opener against defending champions Nigeria, South Africa’s Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis is anticipating a difficult match.
South Africa will kick start their quest for glory against Nigeria’s Super Falcons in a Group C encounter.
The last meeting between them was in Lagos and it ended 2-0 in favor of South Africa, however, Ellis insists the upcoming group stage meeting is more important than the previous games.
“Well we always knew the draw was not going to be easy. Nigeria, the defending champions and multiple winners always bring their A game and know what it takes to win,” Ellis was quoted by CAF’s media.
“We have played them a few times in the group stages. They have raised their levels and we have to raise our levels even higher to get a positive result. The first game is the most important game and once again we need a positive result but it will take a huge effort.
Nigeria stopped South Africa from winning their first African Women’s title in 2018
Asked if she’s thinking of about a possible revenge when both teams meet in Morocco in July, Ellis said:
“Anything that has come before is history but it has shown us what we are capable of and has given us confidence and belief. As I said earlier we have played them many times in the group stages and this will be no different especially with this being an opening group match which is similar to 2018.
“We will need a huge effort to get a positive result. The first game is the most important of any tournament and getting a positive result is very important but we know that it’s not going to be an easy game. Actually, it’s going to be a very difficult game.”
Besides Nigeria, the four-time finalists will also battle debutants Botswana and Burundi in the Group phase.
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