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Zambia coach on Cosafa triumph: We did it

Zambia Women’s coach Bruce Mwape summed up Sunday’s debut COSAFA Women’s Cup triumph in three words: We did It.

After one final, four bronze medals, Zambia finally collected the one senior regional title they did not have in their trophy cabinet: the COSAFA Women’s crown.

But Zambia toiled for it the hard way on Sunday at Isaac Wolfson Stadium at Nelson Mandela Bay, were record seven-time champions Banyana Banyana demanded Zambia show character to earn it in extra-time with a 1-0 triumph.


Barbara Banda, who was not only Zambia’s captain and striker by the team’s symbolic figure, appropriately delivered the crown in the 108th minute in befitting style.

It was Banda’s 10th goal of the tournament that saw her take home the golden boot.

Banda headed in a long punt from her teammate of over eight years from way back in the Zambia Under 17 team defender Margret Belemu to see Zambia end what has been a milestone 2022 for the team.

Barbara Banda
Barbara Banda. Picture @Zambia.

Zambia has just made their debut qualification to the FIFA World Cup.

They did this after a debut WAFCON semifinal placing last July in Morocco, where they made their first-ever knockout stage appearance.

Zambia beat 11-time champions Nigeria 1-0 for Bronze at WAFCON, where the latter relinquished their crown to South Africa.

The three nations, together with WAFCON runners-up Morocco, are Africa’s automatic FIFA Women’s World Cup ticket holders.


“It has taken a long time for us to lift this cup. It is really good that today we have made it,” Mwape said.

“I am sure the players are very happy; we are also very happy as the technical bench, including the association.

“We have been trying to win this cup since I took over four years ago …. finally, we have made it.

“We give credit to the players. We have made it. They worked hard although we were given a hard time by South Africa, but all that we wanted was a win.”

Bruce Mwape.

However, Mwape took an odd route to get to a COSAFA Women’s Cup triumph since his appointment in 2018.

He qualified Zambia for back-to-back WAFCON qualifications in 2018 and 2022.

Zambia also made a debut 2020 Olympic qualification beating favourite Cameroon to the Tokyo ticket, where they made a group stage exit.

Mwape punctuated those milestones with a debut COSAFA Women’s Cup final in 2019, where they lost 1-0 to South Africa.

He also oversaw Zambia’s debut qualification to the Morocco 2019 All Africa Games, where his girls were a no-show after they found themselves in an administrative crossfire and unfairly denied the team a place on the plane to The Games.

Meanwhile, as soon as the celebrations die down, it is back to work in 30 days in FIFA Women’s International match window on October 3-11 and November 7-15 and beyond to prepare for the World Cup Australia and New Zealand will host from July 20 to August 20.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup draws are also not far off on October 22 in Auckland.

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