Friday, July 1, 2022

Mwape talks Morocco friendly, preparations, second friendly, Natasha’s debut, and Siomala’s status

Zambia Women’s national team head coach Bruce Mwape was impressed with what he saw from his players in the 1-1 draw against Morocco on Saturday.

Mwape was happy that his defense managed to keep their shape and only made a few mistakes.

Mwape has also confirmed that Siomala Mapepa has not yet joined the team after having some passport issues.

The ZamFoot Crew understands that Mapepa is in Lusaka camped at Lusaka Dynamos Ladies FC Camphouse.

She was in the process of getting her Swedish Visa as she is going to trials soon after the AWFCON.

The left footed wing wizard is expected to join the team in Morocco on Tuesday.

“I think we played well, especially in the first half, we were able to contain them. Like I said playing against the host nation, the games become difficult, you play even against the referee. The girls played well despite making some mistakes, especially on the right-wing they were too many negative passes, if we can improve on that we will do better,” Mwape said.

“Tactically when it comes to defending the players did follow instructions, although in the second half we started failing to maintain our lines when it comes to defending. Going forward was a problem with our midfielders who were playing flat instead of two going to join the attack, which was a problem. The positives are that we reacted fast during transitions.”

“Am sure the solution will be there because we were missing two players Ochumba and Siomala who is yet to join the team, she remained back because of the passport issue,” he added.

Mwape revealed that they are working on securing a second friendly match for the team ahead of the kick-off of the tournament.

Mwape was also quick to give verdict on Green Buffaloes young forward Natasha Nanyangwe who made her debut in the draw. Mwape believes she has room to improve but was happy with what he saw from her.

“We are pushing for another friendly match, am sure it will be organized before the 28th because we can’t play after that but hopefully we can play it between now and the 25th,” he said.

“The defense played well, they were just a few stray passes, I can say they were disciplined, they maintained their positions well, and were able to win 1v1 situations, that’s a credit to them, especially the central defense.”

“Natasha being the first game, I still believe she needs to improve more, although I can say it was fifty-fifty, sometimes she did very well and sometimes she made mistakes like any other player, She actually did well.

“We are almost ready, there just a few things to polish up.

“When you have supporters it’s a boost to our team, Even this evenings game that support gave a lot of power to our players, even the young ones where able to express themselves,” he added.

Grace Chanda canceled out Misozi Zulu’s own goal as the Copper Queens came from a goal down to hold the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco in an international friendly match played at the Moulay Abdellah in Rabat on Saturday evening.

Both teams were using the match to prepare for the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations to be held in Morocco from July 2-23.

Zambia have been drawn in Group B alongside Cameroon, Tunisia and Togo while hosts Morocco are in Group A with Burkina Faso, Senegal and Uganda.

The Top four teams at the AWCON will qualify for the World Cup that will be held in Australia and New Zealand next year.

Two more teams will be involved in play-offs with teams from other continents.

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