'They are very organised' - Thomas Dennerby salutes difficult South Africa team

The Super Falcons edged Banyana Banyana on penalties to retain the title but Swede has praised his opposing coach for her team's display

Thomas Dennerby has heaped praises on coach Desiree Ellis despite Nigeria defeating South Africa on penalties in Saturday's final to retain the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Having bowed 1-0 to Banyana Banyana in their opener, the Super Falcons were made to wait until the penalty shootout after a goalless 120 minutes to win 4-2 on penalties and get their revenge.

And the Swede, whose side failed to find the back of the net in two meetings in Ghana, admits Banyana were difficult to score while lauding the performance of Banyana squad at the showpiece.

"If you look at Ellis' team, you will see she has done a fantastic job because they are very organised and also a team that was difficult to score and beat," Dennerby told Goal.

"They also have a good attacking play. Maybe they have to rely a little bit more on [Thembi] Kgatlana and a few other good players. They know this is the player that can really make a big difference and will try to get her off the ball. 

"The first game we played against South Africa, we really expected her to be on the field from the beginning but that was a smart way to do it. She was a hundred percent fit and with 45 minutes left, she came on and scored. I think that win was most important for the team.

Article continues below

"What I like with the team was the good preparation. They've been working very hard, played about eight games. That shows that If you work hard, you will have a good result in the end. Regardless of our victory, I think they really have a good team.

"There is also a job for the head coach to work very hard together with the federation to see that they have good preparations for the World Cup. Hopefully, now, we [Nigeria] will really have good preparation going to the World Cup."

Dennerby will shift focus to leading Nigeria to a successful outing next year's Fifa Women's World Cup in France.