The Coach of the Shepolopolo of Zambia Bruce Mwape is targeting a win when his side takes on the Super Falcons in Wednesday’s 2018 Women’s Africa Cup Of Nations Group B clash. Both teams left the gates of the tournament in a different fashion. Nigeria sleepwalked against Banyana Banyana and rightfully got punished 1:0, while Zambia found her lost groove against Equatorial Guinea and pulled them apart 5:0.
Mwape played down talks of his side being under any pressure facing defending African Champion as he believes his team will get the Semi-final ticket on Wednesday.“It’s actually important in the sense that we want to qualify for the Semi-final of this tournament and of course, if we get to the Semifinal, our aim is to get to the World Cup because three teams will be required to represent Africa.
“So if we win today's game, the chances will be there for us to qualify for the World Cup,” Zambia women’s national team coach, Mwape told Nigerian journalists in Cape Coast. “Of course Nigeria is wounded after losing to South Africa, but we will not fear them because we know they will maybe try and play an open game, if they play an open game then we know what to do.”
The Zambian team will be boosted by the return of captain Babara Banda for the clash against the Super Falcons. Banda was suspended for the game against Equatorial Guinea and the coach believes that her return will be a big boost. “It will be an advantage to our team because Babara has got speed, it’s just like Kundananji so we will have two who are actually sharp up front and of course the midfield will support the two strikers,” he said.“The areas we need to improve on is the defence, on the two full backs and wing backs that is where we are a bit slow in terms of defending, especially individual defending.“It’s giving us some problems, the players are failing to win the balls, the two wing-backs. We will try by all means to get maximum points because we need to qualify for the Semifinals.”
Meanwhile, the Super Falcons coach, Thomas Dennerby still reeling from Sunday’s 0-1 loss to South Africa said his team will fight back and put their tournament back on track.“We have a very strong team, time is good for us, the more we are together the more we play together, everybody knows we didn’t have the best of friendlies but our aim is still there, which is to win the trophy and qualify for the World Cup,” said Dennerby Assistant captain Onome Ebi also expressed similar belief of a bounce back. “We have to put the loss behind us and focus on the games ahead she said.
Needless to say, this is a vital game for both teams and for different reasons. For Zambia, a win will propel them to the semi's and make history and for Nigeria, a win will ensure mere survival.