Shepolopolo Zambia coach Bruce Mwape has saluted his women for Fridays giant-killing act following their 1-0 victory over record 11-time champions Nigeria to clinch Bronze at the 2022 Women’s AFCON in Morocco.
The victory came five days after a painful 1-0 loss to arch-rivals South Africa in controversial circumstances through a late penalty given on the edge of the area via a questionable VAR decision.
Shepolopolo victory over Nigeria was also their first over the outgoing WAFCON champions after losing 6-0 at the 2014 tournament and 4-0 at the 2018 championship, both at the group stage.
“Winning the Bronze medal is good because we came here wanting the win the Gold medal that we missed on but we are happy with the Bronze rather than going home with nothing,” Mwape said.
It is the first time in three WAFCON tournament appearances that Shepolopolo have gone beyond the group stage to attain a podium finish and also comes a year after making their Olympic debut where they made a group stage exit in Tokyo.
Shepolopolo suffered just one defeat at WAFCON that came against South Africa but this was Nigeria’s second after also losing to the latter in the group stage.
“I think somehow it is a relief to go back to Zambia with a medal. And looking at the way our team is playing, we should actually give credit to the players, they have played well,” Mwape said.
“Nigeria is a very strong team but we were able to contain them we knew all they wanted was to force a goal but we never gave them a chance or space which they could utilise or create scoring chances.”
A 38th minute booming volley from Evaraine Katongo settled the contest that handed Africa’s top ranked side their worst-ever WAFCON finish.
The journey for Shepolopolo continues next summer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Zambia, Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco will represent Africa after securing qualification when they reached the WAFCON semifinals.
Very outstanding performance indeed. the girls have truly represented our mother Zambia. The deserve a pat on their backs. President HH, thank you for sending a message of encouragement to them. You inspired them greatly and they have done it according to our expectations. The UPND Government, The President, FAZ and the people of Zambia we are saying thank for your unrepresented support. The coaching staff, the head coach- Mr Bruce Mwape, tahnks a million times. Keep it up please. We wish God’s blessing as you prepare for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year
I meant to say unrelented support, and thanks. Sorry for the typographical errors
We need to get rid of Patrice Mosepe who sabotaged Zambia by kicking Barbara Banda out of the tournament. In case people did not know, Barbara scored 3 against Holland and 3 against China in the last Olympics. She also destroyed South Africa by scoring 2 in the 3-0 romp in Lusaka earlier this year. Even with Barbara out, Zambia was still the best team, but Patrice Mosepe put his hand on the scale and had her disqualified. This is what we do not need in Zambia
I am supporting Morocco in the final
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