World Cup counts for nothing if we lose in Cosafa Women's Cup - Desiree Ellis

Banyana Banyana - Cosafa Cup
Safa media
The coach has cautioned her side not to look down on any team at this year's regional tournament in Port Elizabeth

Desiree Ellis has cautioned her South Africa women's national team against underrating their opponents in Group A at the 2019 Cosafa Women's Cup.

Banyana Banyana are back from their maiden Women's World Cup campaign in France and they will face Madagascar, Chawinga Sisters' Malawi and debutants Comoros in their group.

The reigning champions will take on Comoros in their opening game at Wolfson Stadium on July 18 - the first time the countries are meeting at the competition.

"No game is easy‚ we played Madagascar last year and narrowly beat them 2-1. Each and every team grows more after each tournament‚” Ellis told the media.

"Malawi were in our group last year‚ but with the Chawinga Sisters, they are a different team altogether. The Comoros we played in 2014 and they would have grown. You underestimate any team at your peril.

"The tournament is a step for us to grow‚ and using the Cosafa to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers that start very shortly afterwards.

"The expectation is always there‚ being Banyana and the defending champions. People will want to knock you off your perch‚ especially having been to the World Cup.

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"But we have to show what we learnt at the World Cup and why we qualified to be there. We want to give the fans a taste of what we learnt at the World Cup‚ otherwise that experience counts for nothing.

"It won't be easy‚ when you play the minnows, they raise their game. No-one needs the motivation to play a team that has come from the World Cup.”

South Africa will be hoping to avoid an upset in clinching the group's top spot in their bid to reach the semi-finals of the competition scheduled to be held from July 31 to August 11.