South Africa women's national team head coach Desiree Ellis has hailed their Nigerian counterparts as one of the best ahead of their eagerly-anticipated clash.
Banyana Banyana are set to square off with the Super Falcons in their opening 2022 Africa Women's Cup of Nations Group C match at Stade Moulay Hassan in Rabat, Morocco on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Ellis emphasized the importance of getting a good result in the opening game of the competition and praised their opponents.
“It’s all about the three points at the moment and getting the tournament to a good start,” Ellis, who is a former Banyana captain, said.
“The first game of the tournament is always the biggest game and this makes it even better because it’s against defending champions Nigeria and because it is Nigeria, the game is bigger than what it is supposed to be."
The last meeting between the two teams ended in a 4-2 win in favour of Banyana as they claimed the Aisha Buhari Cup title in Nigeria, but Ellis is expecting a difficult match.
“We want to start well and we know it is going to be a tough encounter. They are not Champions for nothing,” she added.
“They have been consistent over the years and that is one area that we need to improve on; to be consistent in our performances and be classified amongst the best."
Group C also features Burundi and Botswana who will meet at the same venue after the clash between Banyana and Falcons on Monday.