Paris 2024: South Africa women seek to clinch Olympic berth


As South Africa’s Banyana Banyana gears up for the return leg of the Paris 2024 Olympic Qualifiers, head coach Desiree Ellis has issued a stern warning against complacency.

Following a commanding 3-0 victory in Tanzania, Ellis, the CAF Women’s Coach of the Year, insists the job is far from done.

The formidable trio of Jermaine Seopesenwe, Thembi Kgatlana, and Hildah Magaia were instrumental in securing the win for the African champions, each finding the net to give the team a significant advantage.

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana against Tanzania’s Twiga Stars.

However, despite the comfortable lead, Ellis is determined to see her team maintain their focus and sharpness in the upcoming home leg.

Ellis’s cautionary stance stems from the understanding that football is unpredictable and a single goal could shift the momentum.

With Banyana Banyana looking to make their third Olympic appearance, the coach is fully aware of the stakes and the level of performance required to secure one of the two spots reserved for Africa.

Banyana Banyana.

The South African squad, still shaking off pre-season rust, will need to be at their best against a Tanzanian side well into their league season. Ellis acknowledged their opponents’ match readiness, highlighting the need for her team to elevate their play even further.

As they prepare to host the return leg, Ellis is clear on the strategy: score the next goal and close out the tie with the same intensity they started it. With potential matchups against heavyweights like Nigeria or Cameroon on the horizon, Banyana Banyana must first ensure they complete the task at hand.

Ellis’s message is one of caution, commitment, and the relentless pursuit of excellence as they aim to book their ticket to Paris 2024.

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