Cape Town - Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis says she is proud of her charges despite failing to proceed to the last 16 of the 2019 Women’s World Cup currently underway in France.
South Africa lost 4-0 to Germany in the final group stage match that took place on Monday, at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier.
Three goals in the first half and one more in the second stanza were enough for the two-time world champions – who won three out of three games, while Banyana Banyana suffered their third defeat in a row.
Ellis said that the gulf in quality between the top sides and her charges showed throughout the tournament despite a gutsy display from her players.
"Playing against the number two side in the world while being ranked ourselves at 49 is such a big gap, Ellis said. "But yet we gave as good as we got and we're not that far off.
"Players now though, need to consistently play at the highest level because that's the only way we're going to catch up to these top sides."
The former Banyana Banyana captain reflected on her team's performance at the tournament saying they were at times unfortunate to be on the losing side.
"I think the Spain result was the hardest for us to digest considering the way we played having led for 68 minutes. The China game became a final and I thought we were quite good in the first half before letting it slip in the latter stages.
"The Germany game was always going to be a big one playing the second-ranked side in the world but at times we really looked good and the players put their bodies on the line but the gulf in quality showed."