Banyana Banyana of South Africa head coach, Desiree Ellis is proud of her team’s performance at the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations despite their failure to win the title.
The South Africans lost 4-3 on penalties to defending champions, Nigeria in the final of the competition at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams cancelled out each other for 120 minutes with Asisat Oshoala missing a penalty for Nigeria in the 74th minute.
It was a bitter end to a competition that started with so much promise following a 1- 0 win against the Nigerian ladies in their first game.
But Ellis insists the entire nation can be proud of the team’s performance in the competition which saw them pick a Word Cup ticket for the first time.
“First of all I will like to congratulate Nigeria for winning the AWCON for a record nine times. They have been a power house of women’s football for quite a while now and continue to dominate. My team did their best, I mean, we knew that Nigeria was going to come hard at us in the game and they did throughout,” Ellis told reporters after the game.
“We had some early chances that I think we should have buried, but in all it was a very good exercise for us going into the World Cup. The impact we have made at this competition as a country is immense. Last night our president who is in Argentina called us and spoke to the girls and so did other South African officials.
“The tournament has been very exciting for us as a nation because since we landed, everywhere we went people showed us love and the fans have been amazing so far, just that I feel more can be done to create more awareness for Women’s football in Africa.
“The journey has been good. We came here with the vision of qualifying for the World Cup because we knew it was now poor never and indeed we achieved that. Winning the trophy will have been a bonus but we gave it our all, but you know that penalty is a game of lottery and we couldn’t capitalize on Nigeria first. So all in all we are content with our tournament here.”