The Zambia U-17 Women’s National Team will this afternoon start their COSAFA U17 Women’s Championship title defense when they take on Botswana at the Bingu National Stadium.
The match is a repeat of last year’s final in Maseru that was won 4-0 by Zambia, who breezed to the gold medal.
Zambia were deserved winners, with Jessy Zulu and Lucy Kajiya grabbing first half goals, and skipper Pumulo Lubasi and Gracious Tailoshi adding two more in the second period.
Botswana will now look to avenge that result as they were within minutes of their maiden COSAFA U17 Women’s Championship title last year only for Zambia to clinch it.
The match will actually be the fourth meeting between the two at the regional tournament with Zambia having won the previous three encounters scoring 10 goals and only conceding one.
Striker Jessy Zulu says the team are eying defending the title and only want to clinch gold medals and not any other color.
The Green Buffaloes forward has also called on the fans to support the team and put them in their prayers so that they can bring the trophy home.
“Our expectations are high, we want to defend the title. My target is to help the team and market myself out there. I am confident we will defend the title because gold is the only medal we want,” Jessy told the ZamFoot Crew.
“I have gathered a lot of experience playing in the CAF Women’s Champions League to even motivate those newcomers.”
“The morale is high in the camp. We ask for support and prayers from the fans so that we can bring home the trophy,” she added.
Coach Naomi Phiri will look to start a strong side today as the team looks to put their travel hitches behind them and start strong.
Margaret Mwale and Mufunte Mwila Chishala will battle for a place between the sticks to replace Chitete Munsaka who has since graduated to the U-20.
Esther Musialela, Theresa Musatila, and Monica Mutisa are expected to start in a back four with Luyando Foundation’s Margaret Gondwe, Suwilanji Lukundo and Eunice Mutonyi battling it out to complete the defensive wall.
In midfield, Skipper Lubasi Pumulo is expected to orchestrate the attacking threat and will be joined by Jessy Zulu and Barbra Chewe.
In attack, Coach Naomi Phiri could unleash Lucy Kajiya, Elizabeth Namute Chileshe and Blessings Zangose Zulu.
Mercy Chipasula, Masela Sekeseke, Nakazwe Ivwananji and Florence Munsaka are all available for selection.
Kick off at the Bingu National Stadium is set for 12:00 hrs. The game will be televised and broadcasted live on COSAFA.TV and FIFA+ Application.