South African coach hails resilient Falcons
Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi, says the team would adopt a different approach in Saturday’s final match against the host nation, Lionesses of Cameroon.
A 53rd-minute free kick by Desire Okparanozie was all the Falcons needed to beat a hard-fighting Banyana Banyana of South Africa to secure passage to the final of the 10th African Women Nations Cup on Tuesday in Cameroon.
Omagbemi praised the players for a job well done, saying that the South Africans gave them a good fight.
“We expected this good fight from South Africa, and we were equally ready for them. I congratulate my players for this victory, although, I must confess, today was not one of our best games.
“What is more important was that we won. I said it earlier that this stage, which is the knock out stage, there is no opportunity for second time.
“Sometimes, the players do a different thing on the field from what you communicated to them. After the first half, I only told them to play easy in the second half, nobody told them to seat back. But I give them credit because it is not easy to win this kind of game,” she said.
Speaking on the final game, Omagbemi said, “We are not afraid of Cameroon. We will face them the way we faced other teams in this competition.”
Meanwhile, South African coach, Desiree Ellis, an ex-captain of the Banyana Banyana, has congratulated the Falcons, particularly her friend, Florence Omagbemi, for the victory, though she questioned the decision of the referee to award a free-kick to the Falcons, which resulted in the lone goal.
Ellis said her team played good football, adding that it was a bad day for the Banyana Banyana.
She revealed that their preparation for the competition started soon after the Rio Olympic Games, adding that as an interim coach, she would take the South African team to a higher level if allowed to carry on.
Captain of South Africa team, Janine Van Wyk, also congratulated Nigeria, but said they have shown to the world that the Banyana Banyana have what it takes to rule African football.