Sunday, July 14, 2024

Japan Assignment will be Tricky – Mwila

By FAZ Media 

Zambia assistant coach Florence Mwila says the Copper Queens expect Japan to present a tricky challenge when the two teams meet in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup opening Group C match on Saturday.

The two teams will meet for the first time at Waikato stadium in Hamilton at 19h00 local time (09h00CAT), and Mwila says the fixture will not be easy as the two opponents are seeking to start the tournament on a winning note.

“The first game is always tricky because it is a decider. How you start the tournament determines how you are going to end it. I think we are ready as a team. I think the Germany friendly was a morale booster to the team to push hard and know that everything is possible,” Mwila said.

 “We cannot relax and say we beat Germany (in Furth). That was just a friendly match, we need to refocus and look at how we are able to beat Japan because definitely their style of play will be different from what Germany had displayed.”

Mwila also noted that the Copper Queens style of play is positive and something opponents should be wary of.

“Nothing really intimidates the Copper Queens but we know that they play a fast game. Height wise we are almost the same but they play quick football so we need to know how to close those spaces that they might want to use to penetrate to go and score,” Mwila said.

“I am seeing us going to the end of the tournament. It’s never about being debutants, it’s how much you put in and how much you believe in what you are doing as a team. We have put in a lot; we thank the government and the Football Association of Zambia for the quality international friendlies that we have had. I think for the first time, a team has had so many friendly matches.”

After Japan on Saturday, the Copper Queens will date Spain on 26 July before wrapping up their Group C matches against Costa Rica five days later.

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  1. How you start does not necessarily determine how you finish. There’s no positive correlation.

    For example, 2010 WC South Africa, Spain lost its opening game but won the tournament.
    Close example, 2023 COSAFA South Africa, Zambia lost its first game but went on to win the tournament.

    I’m not saying we should lose our opening game.

    I think the Korea 🇰🇷 Friendly game (we lost badly) showed us that those little people from the east are wild, expect a tough game too against Japan 🇯🇵, who want to better their past WC achievements. (Their motivation is different).

    Nevertheless, let us enjoy ourselves and aim for individual achievements, perhaps a team effort as well will reward ‘something.’

    My prediction 🇯🇵 2-2 🇿🇲

  2. Zambia is a team that’s on the mind of so many coaches at this tournament. More particularly, those in group C.

    We can not be ignored now! NOT because of Germany but because of the resilience & determination shown by the girls. From conquering COSAFA to featuring at the OLYPICS where we flew Africa’s flag high by making football history through our captain & further qualifying for the WORLD CUP via an upset in 3rd & 4th AFCON playoff.

    So we shall go ahead and put up a brave show…..

  3. Am very sure of two first games we are winning.
    I don’t care whom we are facing.
    Please keep this post for your confirmation

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