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Women's World Cup

'It will be our final' - South Africa coach Desiree Ellis shifts focus to crucial China clash

5:45 PM GMT+4 09/06/2019
Desiree Ellis - South Africa
After leading Banyana to a losing tournament's debut to Spain, the gaffer is looking forward to a tie with the Asians in Paris

South Africa women's team head coach Desiree Ellis has shifted her focus to the second Group B tie with China in Paris on Thursday.

Banyana Banyana earned a lead through Thembi Kgatlana's strike but ended up losing 3-1 after Jenni Hermoso's brace from the spot and a Lucía García goal.

After Saturday's set-back in Le Harve, the Africans will try the Asians for size in an effort to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Round of 16. 

While reflecting on their loss to La Roja, the reigning African Women's Coach of the Year assures they will approach the contest at Parc des Princes as a final.

"I always say that we have to take advantage of opportunities," Ellis told the media.

"We did it in the first half, and in the second half, we had more problems. Penalties are part of the game. In addition, we were left with 10 and that's more difficult, I think we deserved more.

"In attack, we had chances, but if you do not score, your rivals can punish you. There was anxiety, some players were overwhelmed by nerves and we have to see what we can improve on. 

"The game [against China] is crucial to have some hope to get through the round, we will analyze what has happened and we will see what can happen.

"It will be our final, of course, and it will be the same for them [China]. After [Saturday's] match, we can only improve and we will be better.

"For us, it is a special moment, we are making history and I want you to enjoy it."

Ellis' side occupies fourth spot on the Group B log with no point to their name, behind China, Germany and Spain.

A win against China, who lost 1-0 to Germany will give South Africa a chance of clinching a spot in the knockout stage.