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Desiree Ellis explains Banyana team changes for Korea DPR clash in Cyprus Cup

Posted: 5 March 2018 Time: 10:07

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has made four team changes for today's final Group C tie with Korea DPR at the Cyprus Women’s Cup.

READ: Banyana gunning for bronze

Kick-off is at 13h00 at the Stadio Tasos Markos in Paralimni.

Both teams are unbeaten in the tournament with the Asians leading the pool with six points, while South Africa are second with four points.

Kaylin Swart gets the nod in goals to become the third goalkeeper to start in the tournament. Andile Dlamini kept goals in the 0-0 draw with Slovakia, with Roxanne Barker coming in for the win over Hungary last time out.

The defence has also been altered with the central pairing captain Janine van Wyk and Bambanani Mbane starting their third match in a row, while Regina Moholola has been preferred at right-back and Leandra Smeda returns to the starting eleven, but makes a positional switch and starts at left-back.

This is Moholola’s first game in the tournament as she takes the place of Lebohang Ramalepe, with Smeda replacing Nothando Vilakazi.

Vice-captain Refiloe Jane will again work alongside Rachel Sebati in the middle of the park and will be assisted by Kgaelebane Mohlakoana and Thembi Kgatlana on the wings.

Linda Motlhalo returns to the starting line-up after she missed out on the Hungary game, and will be playing just behind lone striker Melinda Kgadiete.

Motlhalo is coming in for Sduduzo Dlamini.

“It was important to get some fresh legs for this match because we are playing three games in six days, something the players are not accustomed to. And also, we are here to prepare the squad for the hectic 2018 full of qualifiers and we want to give everybody a chance so that we know going forward that any player we call upon to play will be ready, and not rusty from sitting on the bench,” said Ellis.

“We have another match coming up on Wednesday, in total it will be four games in eight days and that can take its toll on the body, so rotating the squad a bit will keep the players energetic and fresh. We also had to see what the opposition is all about and employ the right personnel for the job.”

Only three players are yet to step on the field – defenders Noko Matlou and Zanele Nhlapho as well as midfielder Mpumelelo Nyandeni.

In the other Group C clash, Slovakia take on Hungary at 18h00. Slovakia have one point from the tournament, while Hungary are still to gather points.

A win for South Africa will see them topple Korea DPR and jump to seven points and fight for third and fourth position.

With a draw, Banyana will remain second and fight for position five or six.

If South Africa loses and Slovakia scores more goals and beat Hungary, Banyana will drop to third spot and will fight for position nine or 10, with Slovakia moving to second place.

Article by: Staff Reporter
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