Zambia women Under-20 national soccer team coach Osward Mutapa has declared his charges ready and capable of beating their Tanzanian counterparts ahead of today’s match at Nkoloma Stadium.
The Shepolopolo take on Tanzania in the first round, second leg match after beating them 4-0 a fortnight ago in Dar es Salaam to boost their chances of making it to the Papua New Guinea 2016 FIFA women World Cup.
Mutapa’s team thrashed Tanzania at the Azam Sports Complex in Dar es Salaam in a game that saw striker Ireen Lungu scoring a brace to silence the home crowd.
Zambia found the back of the net through Memory Phiri, Lungu and Barbara Banda to seal victory for the Shepolopolo.
Mutapa told the Daily Nation that the girls were in good shape and were looking forward to an exciting encounter this afternoon and that the team would not leave anything to chance to ensure that they qualify to the next round, where they will meet the winner between South Africa and Botswana.
He said the players understood what was at stake and that they were aware that the job was not done until after 90 minutes and that the players will go for an outright victory in the encounter.
“We have prepared very well and the players in camp are in high spirits. This game is important for us and we want to win at all costs. The players understand what is at stake and we will work hard to ensure that we get the job done,” Mutapa said.
He said that there was no need for the players to be complacent just because they had recorded a resounding victory away from home because Tanzania was also capable of posting a good result away from home, just like they were defeated in their own backyard.
Tanzania head coach Rogacian Kaijage has maintained that his team would eliminate Zambia this afternoon to qualify to the World Cup next year.
Kaijage has refused to throw in the towel despite the 4-0 drabbing that the team suffered at home and said the team was more focussed on getting a positive result away from home.
He has insisted that his squad can beat the Shepolopolo and even eliminate them from the tournament at Nkoloma Stadium today.
The Tanzanian mentor has however pleaded with fans to be patient with his team regardless of the result, saying the team was still developing and that it needed much investment and time to enable it to compete strongly at the top level. The Tanzanians need at least a 5-0 win to make it to the second round. Should the team manage to perform the miracle, they will go head-to-head with the winner of the match between South Africa and Botswana in September.
The winner of the next round will qualify to the finals scheduled for October 18 to November 16, 2015 in Papua New Guinea.