Africa

Ellis relishing Australia challenge

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is excited to be facing Australia after the South African Football Association (SAFA) lined up a friendly against the 2023 World Cup co-hosts.

SAFA announced the fixture on Monday which will see the African champions take on the Matildas in London next month as part of their preparations for the showpiece event in Australia and New Zealand.

Ellis’ side had hosted Brazil in two friendlies earlier this month and South African football’s governing body has delivered on its promise to organise more challenging opponents for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions.

Ellis has welcomed the news as she looks to bounce back from the two defeats to the Copa America Femenina winners.

“This is very exciting news, and another opportunity to play against a top nation,” she told SAFA’s official website. “Australia are the co-hosts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup along with New Zealand.

“Coming so soon after playing against Brazil, this gives us an opportunity to rectify our mistakes as well as test and challenge us. It is another opportunity for an improved performance and for players to raise their hands.

“We are really excited. We say thank you to SAFA and SASOL. They said they would get us opponents to prepare for the World Cup and what a start to our preparations. We are really looking forward to this fantastic game.”