South Africa reached just their second FIFA Women’s World Cup. They achieved this by being the first team in history to win the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) in 2022 after five previous runners-up finishes. The squad may benefit from how they ultimately won Africa. At the finals of the previous year, Banyana Banyana, who was accustomed to dominating other African countries and hoarding possession, learned how to play without the ball. Desiree Ellis, the coach, and her technical staff are aware that keeping the ball against their opponents in the World Cup won’t be an easy feat. Fans used to watching the squad glide around with the ball at their feet found it occasionally difficult to watch due to this change in playing style. But South Africa managed to get the required outcomes.
The last warm-up match against Botswana was missed by South Africa’s first-team squad due to a wage dispute with the national association. Multibillionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe stepped in at the last minute. The team will rely on the sharp passing of players like Linda Motlhalo and Refiloe Jane of Sassuolo in midfield while playing on the counter. Bambanani Mbane, a centre defender, can also start a counterattack from the back. That’s where Thembi Kgatlana of Racing Louisville, Jermaine Seoposenwe of Mexico, Hildah Magaia, and Noxolo Cesane’s speed will be useful.
With Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis has accomplished everything. Ellis, a founder player of the 1993-founded South African women’s team. She gained experience in the position of head coach by working as Vera Pauw’s assistant in the Netherlands from 2014 to 2016. Ellis, who has won three awards as Africa’s women’s coach of the year, guided the group to its first World Cup appearance in 2019.
One of the most significant footballers South Africa has produced is Thembi Kgatlana. The 27-year-old, who had an Achilles tendon injury during the group stage. As a result, she did not contribute much as South Africa won the Wafcon. She missed over a year of play due to the injury, but she is now back to her brilliant self.
Wendy Shongwe, a 20-year-old player, will be attempting to learn from more experienced players like Kgatlana and Seoposenwe. Even as recently as 2017, the forward competed in the 800m and won bronze at the national high school championships. She went back to football in 2021. She did so in order to keep a commitment to her father and get away from the isolation of track sprinting.
Glasgow City midfielder Linda Motlhalo is known as the Randfontein Ronaldinho. Also, the ability of the playmaker to render opponents as dazed as the legendary Brazilian player. Motlhalo is renowned for having some of the greatest dancing moves on the Banyana Banyana team.
State of Football
Since Ellis and Company laced up their boots for the first time three decades ago, women’s football in South Africa has advanced significantly. In 2019, a semi-professional women’s league was created. The league is shown on national television. However, there is still a far-reaching and difficult journey ahead.
South Africa only managed to score one goal and collect zero points in their FIFA Women’s World Cup debut in 2019. The players were making their professional debuts on such a famous platform. The team’s goal for 2023 is to advance from their group. They must first score their first points, though, before they can aim for that lofty objective. The reasonable goal will be that.
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