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.