South Africa’s Under-20 Women’s (Basetsana) interim coach Simphiwe Dludlu says she is pleased with the fighting spirit her side showed in their final African Games Group A match against Cameroon, adding that they were just unlucky to lose on the day.
Basetsana lost 1-0 to the Central African side at the Stade Boubker Ammar in Rabat, Morocco on Saturday in a match which was a must-win clash in order for them to progress into the knockout rounds of this competition.
The national women’s juniors will now fly back to South Africa later today via Senegal, and are expected to land at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday at 4.55pm.
‘I am very pleased with how we applied ourselves in this tie,’ Dludlu said. ‘We stuck to our game plan and managed our defensive line really well, while applying pressure towards our opponents up in the final third as well.
‘We created plenty of scoring opportunities, however, failed to make full use of them. This is one area we need to work on moving forward with this squad. Cameroon got one chance from a corner and were able to score from it.’
Dludlu also mentioned that she felt encouraged when FIFA Coaching Instructor, Ms Anne Noe, approached her after the match to commend her on how she applied her tactic in that game.
‘It is heartwarming to have a FIFA Coaching Instructor such as Anne Noe coming to us after the match to commend us on the performance we put out on the pitch,’ Dludlu said. ‘For me as a coach it says I am doing something right and that I must just continue applying myself to the best of my abilities to lead this team and guide their growth from this experience.’
Meanwhile, the Basetsana interim coach hipped praise of the Safa Women’s National League which kicked off this past Saturday at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto, adding that it will go a long way in helping to improve the standard of women’s football in the country.
‘I am very pleased that this league has finally kicked off,’ Dludlu said. ‘We know for a fact that our female footballers will be playing against the best of the best week-in and week-out in a very competitive environment. And this is what we want for the growth of women’s football in this country.’