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Women's World Cup

Desiree Ellis: South Africa have done everything possible to be ready for Spain

23:38 EAT 07/06/2019
Desiree Ellis - South Africa
Ahead of their maiden Women's World Cup opener, the gaffer is upbeat about her side making a winning start against the Europeans

Desiree Ellis believes her South Africa women's side have done everything possible to earn a winning debut against Spain in Le Harve on Saturday. 

In 2018, Ellis made history as she became the first coach to qualify Banyana Banyana for the Women's World Cup.

The Southern Africans played nine preparatory games - Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland twice, the Czech Republic, Korea DPR, Jamaica, the USA and Norway but recorded no wins.

Even though faced with an uphill task in their opener against La Roja, the 55-year-old coach insists they are leaving nothing to chance.

“We have waited a very long time for this, and now is our moment to shine," Ellis told the media. 

"Spain is a powerhouse of world football, despite the fact that this is only their second Women’s World Cup.

"We know what we are up against, and we have done everything possible in our power to be ready for this all-important clash.

“At this level, every team is dangerous because more often than not you get only one chance and that could be the difference between winning and losing. 

"The players want this, they want to showcase their talent to the world. And what makes this match crucial is that it is our guide to how the tournament will be like. 

"We are aware that any result other than a win will set us back as we will have to play catch-up all the way. In any tournament, you want to be in control of your destiny, not depend on others.”

As the current African Women's Coach of the Year, Ellis will be under scrutiny as South Africa take on Spain at Stade Océane.