South Africa: Ellis Hails South African Heroes After Landing WWC Round of 16 Berth

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has praised her girls after Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Italy saw them become the second African team, after Nigeria, to book their place in the round of 16 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup which is underway in Australia and New Zealand.

In a tense game at the Wellington Regional Stadium, South Africa were out of the World Cup until Thembi Kgatiana scored a 92nd minute winner to send Italy packing their bags back at home as Ellis’ girls progressed to the round of 16 after finishing second in Group G with four points behind table leaders Sweden.

Ellis, who came under incessant pressure from the fans after deciding to bench first choice goalkeeper, and arguably the biggest star in the team, Andile Dlamini for Kaylin Swart commended her team for the fighting spirit they exhibited against Italy.

“They fought like warriors,” an emotional Ellis stated doing the post-match press conference

“They fought like the heroines that we know that they are. They fought to be historically remembered and they’ve made history by not just getting our first win, but also going to the round of 16 and that is freaking amazing,” she added

South Africa will play Group E winners the Netherlands on Sunday.

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