D-DAY : COPPER QUEENS EYE CAMEROON SCALP TO BOOK MAIDEN OLYMPIC TICKET
The Zambia Women’s national team maiden appearance at the Olympics will this afternoon come under test when they face off against Cameroon in the Tokyo 2020 Women’s Olympics Qualifier Fifth and Final Round return leg slated for 15:00hrs at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium.
The Copper Queens are going into this match with nothing other than a victory on their minds having lost 3-2 to the Indomitable Lionesses in the reverse fixture which was played last week on Thursday at Omnisport Stadium in Yaounde.
Copper Queens Coach Bruce Mwape is expected to make only one change to his starting line up, Green Buffaloes Midfielder Judith Zulu is likely to return to the line up taking up the place of the injured Rhoda Chileshe who has been ruled out of the match due to the injury she sustained last week.
The rest of the players will remain unchanged and will hope to fire from all cylinders and put up 100% shift in a quest to come out victorious in front of the home supporters who are expected to turn up in numbers to rally and support the ladies who are on a blink of Olympics Qualification.
Hazel Nali will maintain her position in between the sticks and will be well covered by Margaret Belemu at right-back and Martha Tembo on the left who should up her game and make sure the Cameroonians are not given enough opportunity especially the threat of Aboudi Onguene and Ajara Nchout.
Anita Mulenga and Lushomo Mweemba will partner in the heart of the defense.
The magical Mary Mwakapila is expected to orchestrate play in the midfield alongside Barbara Banda and Racheal Nachula on the flanks in making sure Hellen Mubanga and Grace Chanda are well fed with the balls to provide scoring opportunities.
On the other hand, Lionesses Coach Alain Djeumfa is also likely to field in the same players that featured at home and will of course bank on the likes of Aboudi Onguene who scored a brace, Ajara Nchout who was also on the scoresheet for them not forgetting Grace Ngock who had a steady game in the midfield, Estelle Johnson at the back and will hope Bawou Ange will be at her best in goal but she will have to Brace herself for a tough match coming up against the unstoppable goal poacher Grace Chanda who is the current top scorer in this Olympics race with 8 goals and also Captain of the side Barbara Banda who had an excellent game last week.
Both gaffers are optimistic of a positive result and spoke highly of the mouthwatering match tomorrow.
Speaking in a post-match press conference with the ZamFoot Crew, Copper Queens Coach Mwape said the team is injury-free and everyone is ready for the match and the technical bench has watched a replay of the match they lost and have rectified their mistakes going into today’s game.
His Lionesses Counterpart Djeumfa said they are here to take a positive result back home and he feels they have what it takes to achieve a victory.
Copper Queens Captain Barbara Banda urged all soccer-loving Zambians to turn up in large numbers and support them because that could be a motivational factor coming from the 12th player who is the fans to actually emerge as winners after the game.
This afternoon’s match will kick-off off at 15:00hrs and the charges are Free entry for Open Wing While Grandstand is pegged at K50.
However, those wishing to be at Nkoloma Stadium are urged to collect their complimentary tickets starting at 08:00hrs at the same Stadium to be allowed entry in the Open Wing.
The overall aggregate winner between Zambia and Cameroon will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics While the losers will have a second chance to redeem themselves in a play-off match against South American side Chile to determine who grabs the final spot in the Women’s pot.
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