Shepolopolo Zambia midfielder and vice-captain Grace Chanda has described Saturday’s friendly draw against Morocco as a great test for the team.
An impressive Shepolopolo overcame the setback of a second half own-goal to snatch a 1-1 away draw against the 2022 Women’s AFCON hosts in Rabat in their first pre-tournament warm-up match.
The match also came just 48 hours after the 2022 WAFCON early birds landed in Rabat from Lusaka ahead of the tournament Morocco is hosting form July 2-23.
“It was a good game, a tough game but we managed in the only way we know best,” Chanda said.
After their 7-0 stroll in another friendly over Congo-Brazzaville on June 15 at the same venue, Morocco discovered just why Shepolopolo went to the Tokyo Olympics as Zambia put up a tenacious and tactical display.
The only blemish came in the 62nd minute when midfielder Misozi Zulu turned the ball into her net after struggling to clear Nesryne Le Chad’s touch of the ball from a Fatima Tagnaout free-kick.
Misozi turned from villain to hero with a 77th minute assist for Chanda to score the equaliser.
“The own-goal was one of those things. A minor mistake. Miscommunication happens in football but we will not dwell too much on that because the positive from the games outweigh that minor setback,” Chanda said.
“But the only thing we really need to work on before the tournament starts is our finishing,” Chanda said.
“We just need to be more efficient in front of goal.”
Shepolopolo have left Rabat for Marrakech where they have set up their pre-tournament camp ahead of their July 3 grudge showdown against Cameroon in the two sides opening Group B match in Casablanca.
It will be Shepolopolo and The Indomitable Lionesses first encounter since Zambia beat Cameroon to Olympic qualification in 2020.
Togo and Tunisia are Zambia’s other Group A opponents.