Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Shepolopolo Hope to Make a Statement Against Giant Nigeria

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Shepolopolo Zambia are plotting for a giant-killing finish to their 2022 Women’s AFCON campaign when they face record champions Nigeria in the battle for Bronze on Friday in Casablanca.

Zambia and Nigeria come into the match hurting following controversial semifinal losses to South Africa and Morocco with a questionable VAR call and two red cards respectively key talking points of their penultimate stage heartbreaks.

Shepolopolo coach Bruce Mwape said his is very eager to make a final statement that Zambia has arrived as an African women’s football giant to all those still in doubt of what they have seen so far in Morocco.

“Being the last game I still want to say that we want to finish on a good note,” Mwape said.

“We have come a long away and this being the last game we should go back home with at least a medal.”

Shepolopolo welcome back goalkeeper Hazel Nali who missed the South Africa game after she was sidelined with illness.

But Nali’s deputy Catherine Musonda is out with an abdominal injury she sustained against South Africa.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is unbeaten against Zambia in WAFCON, winning both their two group stage meetings by 6-0 at the 2014 tournament in Namibia and 4-0 in Ghana.

And so debut victory over their fellow 2023 FIFA World Cup finalists and record 11-time WAFCON winners will be as precious as the final.

Just how much energy Shepolopolo can summon from their earlier WAFCON unbeaten run against Cameroon, Tunisia, Togo and Senegal, fuelled by the hurt of the loss to South Africa, will be interesting to see.

“We are ready for this game we have prepared accordingly and we want to come out as winners,” Mwape said.

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