Wafcon 2022: Zambia vs South Africa is like the final – Mwape

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Cosafa’s rivals will fight for a ticket to the continental showpiece final in Morocco

Zambia head coach Bruce Mwape described the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against South Africa as the final before the final.

The Copper Queens made history by securing their first place in the World Cup and their first place in the semi-finals of the continental competition after beating Senegal in the post-match shootout. Now Banyana Banyana stands between them and a place in the final.

“I think it’s a game where we have to try harder because South Africa know us better. We’ve played them many times and we know them too.” Mwape said in his pre-match statement.

“So for me it would be like playing the final before the final because we come from the same region.

“As far as I’m concerned, our team is ready for this semi-final and we want to reach the final.”

Mwape also addressed their level of fitness after a grueling quarter-final clash against Senegal.

“Talking about our physical condition, we started preparing for this tournament a long time ago. Playing 120 minutes [vs Senegal] is actually part of the preparation for the next match,” added the tactician.

“We’ve had enough time to recover and I feel our players have recovered.

“After qualifying for the semi-final, of course, naturally you just have to celebrate because it’s an achievement one way or another because it allowed us to qualify for the FIFA Cup. world.”

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Hazel Nali, who scored one of four post-match penalties against Senegal, revealed her side’s state of mind ahead of Monday’s game against South Africa.

“For us to qualify for the World Cup is so great for us as a team,” Nali said. “Of course, we wear it as an achievement for which we are grateful, and now we are looking forward to the team we will face in the semi-finals.

“So far so good, and the team is ready. Everyone is very excited to see how far we have come as a team.

“I think at this stage it’s the most exciting of the tournament, of course. Everyone is focused and looking forward to tomorrow’s game. [Monday].”

The semi-final will be played at the Mohamed V stadium.

Mwape: Zambia vs SA is like the final

Zambia or South Africa? Which team do you think will progress?

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