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Banyana resilience helped them overcome hostile crowd in Wafcon final says Desiree Ellis

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis celebrates with the trophy after South Africa won the 2022 Womens Africa Cup of Nations last weekend. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Banyana weathered the storm to beat the home team in front of their own fans. Ellis has suggested that the atmosphere was hostile to her team at the start of the game before gradually becoming more subdued as her side clawed their way to victory.

“We could not hear when the national anthem was playing. We sang at the top of our voices. People were doing the thumbs down. After we scored the first goal, there was a bit of quietness. After we scored the second goal, there was dead silence. The resilience of the team was outstanding,” said Ellis during an interview with 5FM.

For Ellis, the tournament was a case of third time lucky. After taking over the national team, she led the side to a fourth place finish at the 2016 edition of the tournament. That was followed up by a runners-up finish at the 2018 edition before finally winning it this year.

“There was a lot of screaming and celebration. I don’t think I’ve slept for two days. From the word go, the ambition was to qualify for the World Cup. Even when there were a lot of challenges, the players stood together which was the most important thing,” said Ellis.

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