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Banyana Banyana take on Slovakia in their opening Cyprus Cup match

Posted: 28 February 2018 Time: 08:35

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has named her starting line-up for their opening Cyprus Cup match against Slovakia.

Banyana are in group C, which also features Hungary and Korea DPR.

Ellis has included Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana, who are both set to play their football in the USA for Houston Dash. Jermane Seoposenwe and Chantelle Esau will lead the line upfront and Ellis will be hoping that they can find a chink in the opposition's armour.

Ahead of the match, recently appointed head coach Ellis said she has been impressed with the attitude of her players.

“There’s a lot of players who are raising their hands, which makes it difficult for the technical team. But we are going to make sure we get the right mix for this game. I have been impressed with the attitude,” she said.

“The first game of the tournament is always important to start off on a good note. Not just a win, but to get a good performance because it brings confidence within the team and momentum, especially for the new players who have not played in a tournament like this.”

After going down 3-0 to Sweden in a friendly in Cape Town last month, Ellis has worked on organising her defence as well as the attack, to ensure Banyana are less predictable when they get forward.

“We have worked on our defensive organisations. When we look at the Sweden game on how we got breached, we worked on being a little bit more compact and to cover each other in the right areas, so that looked impressive [in training].

“We also worked on our attack so that we vary our play and not be predictable.” 

Starting XI: Andile Dlamini (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Bambanani Mbane, Janine van Wyk (c), Linda Motlhalo, Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Thembi Kgatlana, Chantelle Esau

Subs: Kaylin Swart (GK), Roxanne Barker (GK), Noko Matlou, Zanele Nhlapho, Regina Mogolola, Rachel Sebati, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Kgaelebane Mohlakoana, Melinda Kgadiete, Sduduzo Dlamini

Previous Cyprus Cup winners

2008: Canada          

2009: England         

2010: Canada          

2011: Canada         

2012: France          

2013: England        

2014: France          

2015: England        

2016: Austria          

2017: Switzerland  

Article by: Staff Reporter
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