Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw is staying positive after her side’s 1-0 defeat to Sweden in their Olympic football tournament.
Despite 46 places separating the two sides in the Fifa world rankings, only a scrambled 75th-minute winner by Nilla Fischer was the difference on Wednesday night.
The stats tell of a match largely dominated by the Scandinavians.
They won the corner count 12-2, shots on goal 10-3 and shots on target 4-1. Yet, it was the one stat that counted – the 1-0 scoreline – that gave them the three points.
But Pauw feels that they could have got more from the game after goalkeeper Roxy Barker’s uncertainty under a cross.
Pauw says: “That one little mistake cost us. The more experienced teams will punish you when you make a little mistake.
“We should be going forward more, making more in our attacks and creating more chances, but these are the players we have got at the moment so I can’t ask for more than they are giving.”
Banyana’s next challenge will be China on Sunday morning in their Group E clash (1am kickoff).
The Chinese lost their opener to hosts Brazil 3-0 and the teams will be going all out for those precious points with the third-placed team claiming a quarterfinal spot.
And Pauw believes they will score log points.
She says: “This has been a journey going forward and there has been plenty hard work put in by everyone.
“We have had narrow defeats to the likes of the United States and the Netherlands and this result again shows that we’re getting closer.”
SA’s men’s Olympic football team played Brazil last night and face Denmark early Monday morning (1am).