Sunday, July 14, 2024

Katongo could prove invaluable to the Copper Queens World Cup adventure 

The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off today in Australia and New Zealand after a long period of anticipation and hype. 

The Copper Queens will be making their debut at the global showpiece and will be looking to impress. 

Coach Bruce Mwape’s lasses will be looking to their phenomenal captain Barbra Banda for inspiration together with her striking partner Rachel Kundananji, a Spanish Liga F goal machine. 

With the duo stealing the limelight, Youngster Evarine Susan Katongo could prove to be just as vital in the middle of the park. 

The Zambia U20 National Team graduate has grown into her own in the team since making her competitive debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo against Brazil on 27th July, 2021. 

Katongo captained the U-20 in the 2022 Costa Rica FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifiers and scored a goal plus setting up two others in the 6-0 demolition of Malawi. 

With the U-20 she was given room to express herself hence being more creative and scoring goals and assisting. 

At the senior National Team her full major tournament was the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in which she played all the games. 

The Luyando Foundation Girls product also scored the goal that sealed Zambia’s bronze against Nigeria in the third and fourth play off. 

Katongo also played a pivotal part at the 2022 COSAFA Women’s Championship where she again scored and Zambia won the tournament. 

Her creativity and quick thinking could come in handy at the World Cup to be able to unlock defences of teams like Japan, Spain and Costa Rica. 

Katongo may not be the biggest player on the field of play but her football brain helps her navigate situations making her an asset to the Copper Queens set up. 

Zambia will open their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign with a tricky tie against Japan on Saturday.

The two teams will meet for the first time at Waikato stadium in Hamilton at 19h00 local time (09h00CAT). 

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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