Banyana Banyana now shift focus to Argentina following their opening World Cup match defeat to Sweden on Sunday.
As things stand, Desiree Ellis’ troops still have a chance to make it to the round of 16; all they need to do is to win their remaining two matches by big margins.
Should Italy beat Sweden, and then the Swedish win their final group match, what will this mean for Banyana?
Local football fans may need to take out their calculators to see how the SA national women’s team can qualify for the next round.
BANYANA NEED TO WIN THEIR REMAINING TWO GAMES CONVINCINGLY
Currently, Sweden and Italy top the group with three points each, followed by South Africa and Argentina who are yet to register points. Friday’s match is Banyana’s chance to redeem themselves and register their first-ever win at a Fifa World Cup.
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After going down against Sweden, Ellis remained proud of her team saying they executed the game plan, describing them as brave.
“We had a game plan and I thought it worked throughout, we were defensively very sound. We knew that they were going to be a challenge at set-pieces and I thought we handled that very well. Our transitions could have been a better. Our decisions in the final third, if that was better, we would be speaking a different result now,” said the Banyana coach.
WORLD CUP GROUP G PERMUTATIONS:
A defeat for Banyana and a draw between Italy and Sweden will see Desiree Ellis’s charges out of the tournament after only two games.
A win for Banyana and Sweden on Friday will put the South Africans in second, needing potentially a draw in their final game against the Italians.
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A draw on Friday won’t eliminate the Africans from the tournament, but they will need to depend on other results to go their way.