Zambia coach declares Wafcon semi-final ‘final before final’

Zambia coach Bruce Mwape called the Caf (Wafcon) Women’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against Banyana Banyana “the final before the final” as the team set to fight at the Mohammed V Stadium on Monday night.

The two teams have already faced each other several times – both from the Kosafa region. Mwape says that this means that his charges will have to turn against Banyana.

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Zambia needed penalties to qualify for this stage of the tournament after beating Senegal 4–2 after a 1–1 draw at the end of extra time, while the South Africans beat Tunisia 1–0.

“This is a game where we need to put in more effort because South Africa knows us better. We played against them several times and we know them too. So it will be like playing the final before the final because we are from the same region. As far as I understand, our team is ready for this semi-final, we want to reach the final, ”the Copper Queens coach said, adding that his players will have fresh legs to play with Bunyan.

“I think, if we talk about physical preparation, we started preparing for this tournament a long time ago. Playing 120 minutes is part of the preparation for the next game. We had enough time to recover, the players fully recovered.”

Reaching the last four competitions meant Zambia’s first place at the Women’s World Cup. Mwape admitted that there were celebrations after achieving this feat, but they had to cut them short to fully focus on the semi-finals.

“After reaching the semi-finals, we naturally had to celebrate, because reaching the semi-finals is one way or another an achievement. There were celebrations in some places, but, of course, with a limit. You can celebrate, but you can’t go to the next game.”