Banyana fall to Sweden in friendly

The home side matched the visitors for much of the game‚ but poor finishing and decision making cost them against the astute Swedes.

Banyana Banyana line up against Sweden in their international friendly at the Cape Town Stadium on 21 January 2018. Picture: @SAFA_net/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Banyana Banyana valiantly lost 3-0 to a more refined Swedish side in their international friendly in Cape Town.

Roughly 7,300 supporters came out to see Banyana face a Swedish side packed with stars in the women’s game who have played at the highest level in Europe and the United States.

Heading into the match, the Swedes were ranked 10th in the world compared to Banyana’s 54th place.

Despite this‚ the home side matched them for much of the game‚ but poor finishing and decision making cost them against the astute Swedes.

Banyana won’t be disheartened as they look forward to qualifiers for the Afcon and then hopefully the Women's World Cup this year.

Coach Desiree Ellis says it will take time to reach Sweden’s level.

"We had a good start from [Bafana Bafana coach] Stuart Baxter and it's true that we all need to raise our level a little bit more to get to this level. For us, this was a fantastic performance, not so much the result, but it's all about the process and we continue with it because we all know what's at the end and that is the qualification for the World Cup and this was the start of it."

Ellis is under no illusions as to the work that lies ahead.

"Look, we're very critical on ourselves and I don't think you can soften the blow. If you look at it, ther'e probably a lot of mistakes because we really analysed [them]. We're really happy with the performance but we will go back and have a look because even when we played the USA, we were outstanding against them but if you go back and have a look at the game as a whole, you'll find that there were so many errors."

She says that they’re fully focused on securing their first World Cup qualification.

Captain Janine Van Wyk rued the missed chances but found many positives.

"Putting the ball int he back of the net gives you and your team a lot of confidence going forward but overall I'm really happy with what we've put out today... phenomenal crowd that came out to support us... I think it's the biggest crowd we've had for Banyana, so we're hoping to come back to Cape Town more often."