We Want To Be Remembered For Our Singing, We Could’ve Won The Netherlands – South Africa coach Ellis

Following Bayana Bayana’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of 2019 finalists the Netherlands at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday, head coach Desiree Ellis has come out to make a bold prediction on the team’s future ahead of the next Mundial in 2027.

The 60-year-old former South Africa international said in the post-match conference that the reigning African champions, who had already made history in the tournament by qualifying for the knockout phase, will be back better and stronger in the next four years.

“We want to be remembered as a team that lit up the World Cup,” Ellis said in a confident tone. “As a so-called underdog. We were called yesterday an underdog team that plays good football, but also that can mix it with the best out there.

“We also want to be remembered for our singing because that’s who we are. I was singing because that is what unites us and that is what keeps us together.

“And I think when we walked around the stadium after the match, we could see how the people appreciated what we brought to the tournament. And I believe we will be back in four years, bigger and better,” the tactician added.

Two goals from Manchester City midfielder Jill Roord and 26-year-old forward Lineth Beerensteyn helped Oranje overcome South Africa and qualify for the quarterfinals–where they will face Spain–for just the second time in their history.

Despite the defeat, Ellis still believes her team deserved to win the tie, as they created the better chances but were just unable to find the back of the net, with many of those falling to stand-in captain and leader Thembi Kgatlana. She also reiterated that they will be departing Australia and New Zealand with their heads held high.

“I think more disappointed than anything we felt we could have won this game. And if I look back, we should have the opportunities that we had, but we didn’t take them.”

And yes, I think very proud. I think as a group, we need to hold heads up high. I think if you look back when we qualified for the last 16, the whole country went crazy and I’m expecting them to go crazy when we get back as well, because this team has really punched above their weight considering, you know, again, that we do not have what everybody else has is a professional league, purely amateur league.

“And our players, a few of them play abroad. And hopefully through all of us, they will get opportunities to play for bigger and better clubs because that will also help us,” Ellis concluded.

South Africa, who were playing in just their second Women’s World Cup, had already exceeded expectations by advancing to the knockout stage for the first time, and they were also part of unpreceded history as three African teams progressed from the group stage for the first time.

Bayana Bayana can be proud of what they have achieved at the tournament after many experts never gave them a chance of going this far.

Credit: Afrosport

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