Banyana earn first World Cup point … but it might have been more

Coach Des Ellis was left to rue missed chances after Banyana Banyana gave up a two goal lead to draw 2-2 with Argentina in their Women’s World Cup Group G clash on Friday, denying the South Africans a first ever win on the highest global stage.

Banyana were full value for their advantage going into the final stages of the game after goals from Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana, but allowed their opponents to snatch a point.

Ellis admitted great disappointment at the end of the game, though Banyana could still potentially advance to the round of 16 with a victory over Italy in their final pool fixture on Wednesday.

“It is about taking our chances,” Ellis said. “That’s the problem, we don’t take them, it comes back at us every time. If we had taken our chances, we would have had a different conversation.

“It is fantastic we got our first point but three would have been better. It’s like you hand me a chocolate and then take it away, and I love chocolate.”

Ellis also felt the decision-making in the final third, which she had criticized in the 2-1 loss to Sweden, was also not quite right again.

“We need to show a little bit extra effort, it’s the little details. We had the chances to win this game and, again, we just gave it away. We created so many opportunities.

“We spoke about decision-making, the importance of playing a pass to someone in a better position and, at times, we did not do that.

“When you create beautiful chances and don’t put them away, the result can end up like this. We were in complete control of the game, we just needed to finish off the game.

“We need to look at ourselves, all of us, and say, ‘what can we do better?’”

Player of the Match Thembi Kgatlana suggested the team lost a little bit of focus in the closing stages.

“We had the game in our pocket but we gave away two easy goals. That is something we’ll need to improve going into our next match,” she said.

“We need to give 100 percent focus, whether we are leading or not, and show a very good mentality until the referee blows the final whistle. Today we made life difficult for ourselves.”