A convincing Shepolopolo Zambia earned a 1-1 away friendly draw against 2022 WAFCON hosts Morocco on Saturday evening in Rabat.
The friendly came barely 48 hours after Bruce Mwape and his girls had landed in Rabat from Lusaka for the final countdown of preparations ahead of the WAFCON Morocco is hosting from July 2-23.
This was Shepolopolo’s full teams’ first friendly since they entered residential camp in Lusaka three weeks ago but for the hosts Morocco it was their first.
Any notion by Morocco that it would be a walk in the park like their 7-0 rout over Congo-Brazzaville on June 11 at the same venue was dispelled in the opening period that ended scoreless as a tactically superior Shepolopolo comfortably soaked in the modest pressure from the WAFCON hosts.
But Morocco had one notable chance in the 42nd minute when Rossela Ayane’s tame shot was saved by Hazel Nali.
However, Morocco still managed to break the deadlock in the 62nd minute when Shepolopolo midfielder Misozi Zulu turned the ball into her own net.
Misozi failed to clear Nesryne Le Chad’s shot on the turn from Fatima Tagnaout free-kick and guided the ball in for an own-goal.
But Misozi redeemed herself when she turned provider for Grace Chanda in the 77th minute who skipped over Morocco goalkeeper Khadija Errmichi to plant the cross inside Morocco’s net.
The match was also Shepolopolo’s debut senior women’s national team meeting against a North African side before facing WAFCON Group B opponents Tunisia in a match-day-two fixture on June 6 in Casablanca.
Shepolopolo will open their Group B campaign on July 3 against Cameroon and later play Togo on June 9.