Thousands Turn Up For Big Banyana Clash
Nearly 23,000 people headed to watch Banyana Banyana face the United States of America in California this weekend in what was a very tough test for Desiree Ellis’ side.
Take a look at some crunching images from the game in the gallery above!
Banyana are now just weeks away from their first ever game at a FIFA Women’s World Cup, and their head coach was eager to come up against America – the highest-ranked female nation in the world – as part of their preparations.
While the result didn’t go their way, and there was a worrying injury to veteran star, Noko Matlou, the game will have been excellent preparation for the side as they gear up for their opening clash with Spain on June 8.
A brace from Sam Mewis and Carli Lloyd’s 108th goal for the USWNT secure a 3-0 victory for the hosts at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, but it wasn’t all negatives as they await the arrival of Leandra Smeda, Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana for the tournament itself.
Check out the goals from the game here:
Speaking to SAFA after the game, Ellis unpacked matters by saying, “I thought in the first half, we did very well, especially our organisation and structure was perfect. There were no lines to play through, and our cover was good… The only thing was, when we won the ball, our decision-making could’ve been more effective. We could’ve rotated the ball more, but we sometimes rushed it and kicked it away.
“USA were really a test… They had their best players on the pitch. I thought we defended a couple of their crosses well. Noko got injured after she had played really well, and sometimes it takes a while for the new players to settle in.
“The last two goals could’ve been avoided as well – not tracking back, and not being tighter in the box. We spoke about these things, to minimise mistakes. We had one or two opportunities to catch them on the counter, but again, wrong decisions being made.”
Banyana will arrive back in Johannesburg at 08h00 tomorrow morning.