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Zambia game for Nigeria

…Copper Queens fight for WAFCO Bronze

By MICHAEL MIYOBA
ZAMBIA’s Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) Journey comes to an end today with a fight for bronze against the defending champions Nigeria.
The third and fourth playoff at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca promises a lot of sparks between two teams still mourning their semifinal defeats to South Africa and Morocco respectively.
The Copper Queens were stunned 1-0 by Banyana Banyana who benefited from a controversial late penalty while Nigeria were given two red cards which affected their progress to the finals as they lost the semifinals against hosts Morocco via penalties following a 1-1 stalemate.
Today’s clash presents the coach of the year nominee, Bruce Mwape a chance to lead the Copper Queens to their maiden WAFCON medal if they beat Nigeria today.
“Being the last game I think we want to finish on a good note and we have come a long way and in the last game we should go back home with a win. We are ready we have prepared adequately and we want to come out as winners,” Mwape said.
With the second choice goal keeper Catherine Musonda out due to injury, Mwape who is banking on the full recovery of first choice goalkeeper Hazel Nali, will look to third choice goal keeper Letisha Lungu to provide cover in goal while the player of the nominee Grace Chanda will lead the team in its quest to win bronze.
Musonda is recovering from a trauma to her lower abdomen that she suffered during the 1-0 loss to South Africa while Nali may be able to return between the sticks after resuming training yesterday following her recovery from an illness which made her to miss Monday’s semi-final.
The Copper Queens shot stopper believes Zambia has what it takes to beat Nigeria.
“We are looking forward to the game and we know what is at stake and the game against Nigeria is important like a final and we really cangt wait,” Nali said.
Nali urged match officials to be fair in their execution of their duties.
“We were scammed in the game against South Africa but the girls have talked over it and it is something that we wouldn’t bring back so the team is ready and everyone know what is needed because we cant keep focusing on the past and we are ready for the game and if are to play tomorows game the referess should be faire because we will not take what they did in the semis anymore,” she said.
Todays fixture will be intriguing as it follows the Super Falcons protests to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) ahead of their third-place play-off at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon).

It is alleged that none of the Super Falcons players has received their allocated allowances or bonus of over $10,000 for the wins over Botswana, Burundi and Cameroon.

The players boycotted training on Wednesday evening, prompting the NFF to act swiftly in order to prevent another strike before the match against Zambia on Friday.

“The players have refused to leave their hotel in Casablanca over unpaid bonuses,” a top NFF official told BBC Sport Africa.

Meanwhile, Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo has urged the Copper Queens not to be intimidated by the defending champions tag of the Nigerians.

Makembo said that like Tunisia, Togo and Senegal who the Copper Queens beat to qualify for the 2023 Fifa Womens World Cup, Nigeria are a beatable side.

The FAZ life member said the key for Zambia to beat Nigeria is for the Copper Queens to continue working hard as a team.

By MICHAEL MIYOBA
ZAMBIA’s Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) Journey comes to an end today with a fight for bronze against the defending champions Nigeria.
The third and fourth playoff at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca promises a lot of sparks between two teams still mourning their semifinal defeats to South Africa and Morocco respectively.
The Copper Queens were stunned 1-0 by Banyana Banyana who benefited from a controversial late penalty while Nigeria were given two red cards which affected their progress to the finals as they lost the semifinals against hosts Morocco via penalties following a 1-1 stalemate.
Today’s clash presents the coach of the year nominee, Bruce Mwape a chance to lead the Copper Queens to their maiden WAFCON medal if they beat Nigeria today.
“Being the last game I think we want to finish on a good note and we have come a long way and in the last game we should go back home with a win. We are ready we have prepared adequately and we want to come out as winners,” Mwape said.
With the second choice goal keeper Catherine Musonda out due to injury, Mwape who is banking on the full recovery of first choice goalkeeper Hazel Nali, will look to third choice goal keeper Letisha Lungu to provide cover in goal while the player of the nominee Grace Chanda will lead the team in its quest to win bronze.
Musonda is recovering from a trauma to her lower abdomen that she suffered during the 1-0 loss to South Africa while Nali may be able to return between the sticks after resuming training yesterday following her recovery from an illness which made her to miss Monday’s semi-final.
The Copper Queens shot stopper believes Zambia has what it takes to beat Nigeria.
“We are looking forward to the game and we know what is at stake and the game against Nigeria is important like a final and we really cangt wait,” Nali said.
Nali urged match officials to be fair in their execution of their duties.
“We were scammed in the game against South Africa but the girls have talked over it and it is something that we wouldn’t bring back so the team is ready and everyone know what is needed because we cant keep focusing on the past and we are ready for the game and if are to play tomorows game the referess should be faire because we will not take what they did in the semis anymore,” she said.
Todays fixture will be intriguing as it follows the Super Falcons protests to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) ahead of their third-place play-off at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon).

It is alleged that none of the Super Falcons players has received their allocated allowances or bonus of over $10,000 for the wins over Botswana, Burundi and Cameroon.

The players boycotted training on Wednesday evening, prompting the NFF to act swiftly in order to prevent another strike before the match against Zambia on Friday.

“The players have refused to leave their hotel in Casablanca over unpaid bonuses,” a top NFF official told BBC Sport Africa.

Meanwhile, Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo has urged the Copper Queens not to be intimidated by the defending champions tag of the Nigerians.

Makembo said that like Tunisia, Togo and Senegal who the Copper Queens beat to qualify for the 2023 Fifa Womens World Cup, Nigeria are a beatable side.

The FAZ life member said the key for Zambia to beat Nigeria is for the Copper Queens to continue working hard as a team.

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