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Women's Olympic Qualifying CAF

'We never took anything for granted' - Ellis rues Banyana loss to Botswana

1:09 PM EDT 9/4/19
Desiree Ellis South Africa Banyana Banyana coach
The Cosafa Women's Cup winners failed to progress from the second round after bowing out on penalties

South Africa women's head coach Desiree Ellis was disappointed after her side's shock exit from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers on Tuesday.

Banyana Banyana had featured at the last two editions at London 2012 and Rio 2016, before they made their maiden Women's World Cup berth in France and later retained the Cosafa Women's Cup.

On the heels of their huge achievements, Banyana shockingly bowed out 3-2 on penalties in the second round of the qualifying series to northern neighbours Botswana at Orlando Stadium.

The disappointed coach, who missed out of key players like Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo, blamed their profligacy in front of goal for their unexpected loss in the qualifier.

“We had so many chances and you cannot even score one from the first minute,” Ellis told the media.

“The penalty shootout is always a lottery. It is disappointing for all [of] us. We have spoken in the past about chances that we needed to take.

"It was just too easy to miss and we missed them. It is just not a good day for us. In this game alone we could have been 4-0 or 5-0 up at the half time.

"We had more chances in this game than we had in Botswana. They came with the plan [to frustrate us]‚ yet we still opened them up enough to create the chances.

“When you have the goal gaping and you don’t put the ball in the back the net. You hit the post‚ you go into a penalty shootout and you don’t do well in the shootout either. It is a disaster.

“We never took anything for granted‚ we worked hard on our finishing‚ combination play and the defensive side.

"We created more chances than I can ever remember and it is disappointing that we did not put one in the net‚ and the result is us being out.”