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Banyana stumble once again

todayJuly 28, 2023 82

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Banyana Banyana failed to hold on to their lead once again at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Desiree Ellis’ charges squandered a 2-0 advantage on Friday morning to draw 2-2 against Argentina in their second G clash in Wellington.

Linda Mothlalo put the African champions ahead in the 3oth minute with Thembi Kgatlana adding the second in the 66th minute. Banyana looked to be firmly in control until the 74th minute when Sophia Braun produced a stunning strike to put the South Americans back in the match. Five minutes later, substitute, Romina Nunez, found the back of the net for the La Albiceleste to break South African hearts yet again.

After losing their opening matches in New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa both now have one point. Group favourites Sweden and Italy both have three points before they play each other in Wellington on Saturday, before a decisive final round of games on 2 August.

Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, was disappointed in her team’s showing and did not hold back in her post-match press conference.

“I don’t think it’s the defence to be honest – I think the defence held out well. It’s the chances that we create (and do not convert),” Ellis said.

“It’s the moments that we get into the final third and make the wrong decisions – when the players that are running free in on goal (and do not pass the ball to).”

“If you make better decisions, we talk differently once again. You cannot create all those chances and they get those two chances at the back, and they score. It’s about taking our chances and making better decisions in the final third. It doesn’t matter who scores – it’s about putting someone – who’s in a better position, and has a better opportunity to score,” Ellis said.

The Banyana camp will also be sweating over the fitness of captain Refiloe Jane who had to be subbed in the first half due to an apparent ankle injury.

They will next play Italy on Wednesday morning.

Reaction on social media to Friday’s match was diverse.

Written by: Ntsako Mukhari

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