Banyana Banyana’s tour of the United States of America ended on a disappointing note as coach Desiree Ellis’ charges suffered a 2-0 defeat to the hosts at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday.
The South African senior women’s team lost the first international friendly match against the USA in Cincinnati 3-0 a few days ago and while the Sasol-sponsored side delivered a much-improved performance in the second game, it was another defeat for the African champions.
The visitors once again conceded early in the first half when an Alex Morgan crossed found Trinity Rodman, who made no mistake and slotted home to put the former World champions in the lead. The visitors went to the halftime break a goal behind and it did not take long for Emily Sonnett to extend the lead for the Americans in the second stanza, and effectively extinguish hopes for a Banyana Banyana comeback.
The South Africans did not score a goal against the USA during the tour, but Ellis was confident that the many lessons learnt from the two matches would contribute massively to the growth of the team going forward.
“Look, we said we were going to make changes, we said were going to test other players and I thought we conceded poorly (I actually thought it was going to be a foul on Karabo Dhlamini),” said Ellis, after the game, adding: “We spoke about being a little bit more aggressive. We spoke about how they were going to be aggressive, and we needed to be aggressive. We spoke about holding the ball, and moving it much quicker, and at times we did. But at times we also held onto the ball and got caught in possession.
“I think the team played really well. It was a short turnaround time for some, bringing in players who are not used to the system, but we wanted to put some players to the test. A brave performance from the team and I am really proud of the team.”