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Women's World Cup

Nigeria’s Waldrum and South Africa’s Ellis reveal lessons learnt from USA and Brazil defeats

19:56 EAT 08/09/2022
Desiree Ellis - Coach of South Africa
The African nations fell to back-to-back defeats in friendly games they engaged in over the past few days

World Cup-bound South Africa and Nigeria have revealed lessons learnt after friendly defeats at the hands of Brazil and the United States of America.

Banyana Banyana were defeated 3-0 and 6-0 by Brazil in a two-legged friendly game in Durban on Friday and Monday, respectively, while the Super Falcons suffered a 4-0 loss in Kansas and a 2-1 defeat in Washington by the USA.

"More of these matches will definitely test us," Desiree Ellis, South Africa’s coach, said, as quoted by BBC Sport.

"We still have a lot of work to do. The World Cup is not tomorrow, it is about a year from now. We wanted a test like this to see where we are.

"We take the learning out of this as we try to improve with our fitness, technical and tactical ability because we have shown in certain moments that we can play against these top teams."

Ellis, who guided South Africa to the Women's Africa Cup of Nations title in Morocco, pointed out what her girls need to work on.

"When I spoke to the players, I spoke about Wafcon and said, 'If you think that's the intensity you will be facing, then you are highly mistaken'," she added.

"Now a lot of players have had a taste of this and realise that fitness levels need to improve. Technically and tactically, we have got to improve.

"We've got to be concentrated for the full 90 minutes, which comes with playing more games like this. If we consistently play teams that will challenge us, that will force us to do certain things, make better decisions, and we will also get better.

"But it's a whole package. It is a good lesson that there's a lot of work to be done. Come the World Cup, we will be way better because of games like this that help us grow and improve."

On his part, Nigeria coach Randy Waldrum, who has come under continued criticism since finishing fourth in the Wafcon finals, said their focus is on the performance and not the result.

"Any time you play against the best in the world, you are going to have challenges," Waldrum discussed.

"But everything we do to move forward is in preparation for the World Cup, so we look less at the results and more at performances.

"We will study the video from the first match and try to clean up some things defensively because the hard part is playing against not just the best team in the world but a team that is really in top form presently.

"We will continue to grow as a team and do better at the World Cup than we did in Morocco."