Tue, 25 Jun 2019

Cape Town - Banyana Banyana took time off their busy schedule to visit the iconic Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France.

The South African women national side are taking part in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, their maiden tournament.

The Desiree Ellis-coach side face China on Thursday, June 13 at Parc des Princes in Paris following their opening Group B defeat against Spain.

Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).

Head coach Desiree Ellis said the time away from training facilities was a needed exercise for the team.

"We are in the middle of competition but at times you need to give the players a break, so they let their hair down and recharge their batteries, and what better way to do it than to visit this famous place where most of them have only seen it on television," said Ellis.

"The joy on their faces when we arrived there said a lot, and you could see they were clearly enjoying themselves.

"But after that it's back to the grind to prepare for a very crucial game where we need a win at all costs, bearing in mind that we lost our first match at the tournament.

"I am just hopeful the visit will rejuvenate them and will inspire them to work even harder for the upcoming challenge."

Banyana Banyana will be without the experienced left back, Nothando Vilakazi, who was red carded against Spain.

"It's still a toss-up as to who will come in Vivo's place - but I am confident that whoever takes that position will not disappoint," Ellis continued.

"Having seen videos of China, there may be some changes to the team, which I believe will give us the desired results because we are all aware that a loss against China will mean we are out of the tournament.

"With two training sessions left we will try out a few combinations and whoever raises their hand will get the nod. But we already have someone in mind that can jump in into the position.

"This is a must win for us and with a settled back four we are positive that we could compete, but then again it is what it is, we have to do to what we can to win as we this game as a final for us."

South Africa's last group stage match will be against Germany in Montpellier on 17 June.

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