Banyana Banyana will return to South Africa after being knocked out of the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
This follows yet another defeat in the group stages, this time going down four-nil against former champions Germany at the Stade De La Mosson in Montpellier.
— Busisiwe Mokwena, FIFA (@FIFAWWC_RSA) June 17, 2019
Despite failing to register a point at the tournament, Banyana coach Desiree Ellis says the exposure they received from the tournament gave them an opportunity to measure their progress on the international stage.
“When you play at this level the smallest mistake is costly and we need to be better in the things that we do and we are better, but at times you get put under so much pressure in the game because you are against players that play at the highest level week in, week out and it shows. But we are closing the gap. We had a good compliment from the German coach just before, to say they have a lot of respect for us and the rankings don’t do us justice.”
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk says the team will leave France having gained valuable lessons.
The experience at the biggest stage of the players’ careers, will go a long way to improving the standard of women’s football in the country.
“We obviously came here to set a mark, to show the world what women’s football is all about in South Africa regardless whether we have a professional league or not. I think we showed some true character throughout the tournament and we raised a couple of eyebrows when people watched us play. We displayed phenomenal football when we had the chance to and people got a glimpse of what we are about,” adds Van Wyk.