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Mwape: Zambia showing FIFA Women’s WC potential

Coach Bruce Mwape says Zambia’s 2022 COSAFA Women’s Cup final qualification is a testament to their rise as a 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup-bound team.

Mwape’s team qualified for the COSAFA Women’s Cup final on Friday after eliminating defending champions Tanzania 2-1 within the distance in Port Elizabeth.

That result saw Zambia avenge their 3-2 post-match penalty loss to Tanzania in the 2021 semifinal after a 1-1 draw.

Zambia has never won the COSAFA Women’s Cup and has reached the final just once in 2019.

Ironically, Zambia also lost that final to Tanzania 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

“Reaching the final was actually our target. We empathized on it when we came here that we had come here for the Cup,” Mwape said.


“We have been runners-up before and finished in third position many times and as a team, we have improved a lot although there is still room to improve. 

“You know, where are going at the World Cup, the standard of play is higher than the region but again a lot of other teams in the region have also improved.”

Zambia qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup after finishing third at the 2023 Women’s AFCON in Morocco last July.

They will travel to the Australia/New Zealand tournament next July together with fellow African envoys Morocco, Nigeria, and 2022 WAFCON champions Banyana Banyana South Africa.

Meanwhile, Barbara Banda put Zambia ahead in the 12th minute with her trademark piercing run when she sliced through Tanzania’s defence.

But Zambia defender Lushomo Mweemba scored an own-goal in the 27th minute when she headed-in an Anastazia Katunzi free-kick. 

Misozi Zulu restored Zambia’s lead in the 47th minute with a killer finish from close-range after Tanzania goalkeeper Najiat Idrisa fumbled and dropped Xiomala Mapepa’s searching ball into the midfielder’s path.

“I think the team played well the entire 90 minutes except for that mistake that we made towards the end of the first half when we scored an own-goal. But otherwise, the girls played according to instructions,” Mwape said.

Zambia will face hosts Banyana  in the final on Sunday.

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