21 September 2017

South Africa: Ellis Wrings Changes for Crucial Zambia Clash

Interim head coach of Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis has made several changes to the squad that played to a 1-1 draw against Botswana in the last group stages match of the 2017 COSAFA Women's Championship.

The South Africans take on Zambia in the semi-final this afternoon (Thursday, 21 September) at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Kickoff is at 13h00.

Ellis has gone for the bulk of the team that defeated Namibia 3-1 in the second match of the competition.

Roxanne Barker is in goals with Lebohang Ramalepe and Nothando Vilakazi at right back and left back respectively, while Bambanani Mbane is in central defence and will play alongside Noko Matlou - who is the only change in the side that played Namibia. She takes the place of Regina Mogolola.

In the middle of the park, Ellis has selected captain Refiloe Jane, Kholosa Biyana, Koketso Tlailane and Leandra Smeda, with Thembi Kgatlana and Chantelle Esau playing upfront.

"This is the big one for us and we are not thinking about anything else but this match - our total focus is on Zambia. Defensively, we have to be very organised and focused, as the Zambians have shown that they can give you problems if you are complacent. Offensively, we have created many chances in the tournament - scoring only seven in the process - but now we to have to be more clinical in taking them to get the result we want," said Ellis.

"Noko's (Matlou) experience was key when we brought her on against Namibia and it will be key again as she has played in many semi finals before."

Jane and Mbane are starting their fourth match in a row - and are the only players to have played every minute of the tournament so far.

In the other semi-final, Kenya will lock horns with Zimbabwe at the same venue, kicking off at 16h00.

** In the event of a stalemate at the end of the 90 minutes regulation time in both matches, there will be no extra time and a penalty shootout will be used to determine the winner.

Banyana Banyana starting 11 vs Zambia:

Roxanne Barker (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Noko Matlou, Bambanani Mbane, Kholosa Biyana, Koketso Tlailane, Refiloe Jane (C), Leandra Smeda, Thembi Kgatlana, Chantelle Esau

Subs:

Andile Dlamini (GK), Yolula Tsawe (GK), Regina Mogolola, Zanele Nhlapo, Nwabisa Kolisi, Nkoikoi Mabina, Rachel Sebati, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Rhoda Mulaudzi

Interim Head Coach: Desiree Ellis

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