By Aaron Mubanga Jnr | February 11, 2020
Zambia Women’s national team head coach Bruce Mwape is hoping to have a friendly match with a West African team before facing off with Cameroon in the final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers.
Cameroon and Zambia clashed in the 2018 COSAFA tournament with Zambia beating the Indomitable Lionesses 1-0 in the group stage thanks to a Lushomo Mweemba lone strike while the Lionesses’ dumped the Copper Queens out of the tournament at the semifinal stage with an Edith Ngo lone strike.
“Not necessarily Europe but even within Africa, all we want is to prepare them adequately. Since we are playing a West African team we would like to have a friendly game with a team from that area,” Mwape told the ZamFoot Crew after Monday’s morning training session.
“We have played Cameroon before so we know their strengths and weaknesses and we are working on that.”
Mwape confirmed that all the players had reported in camp. He went on to say the team was target qualification to Tokyo so as to get some experience from seasoned European campaigners at the Olympics.
Mwape is confident the team will do better than they did last year. The Copper Queens only lost a single game last year and conceded only three goals.
“We started training on Thursday last week with 23 players. This time only one player is missing the goalkeeper who is in camp with the U-17,” he said.
” It’s very important because we want to develop our Women soccer in the country to match the standard of European teams. Once we qualify for Tokyo we will meet different teams and learn a lot because they have a lot of experience that we want to tap from.”
“This year am sure we will do better because we are maintaining the same team is sure we will improve more and do better, ” he added.
The European based players will only join the preparations in the final week.
“Misozi is just waiting for her Visa and will only return in the last week with Rachel Kundananji and Barbara Banda, ” Mwape said.
“We earlier requested for local preparations before reaching this stage but time did not allow.”
The Copper Queens will be away to Cameroon on March 5th and will host them four days later in Lusaka.
Winner over two legs will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games while the losing team will engage in a play-off with Chile.