Copper Queens Semis Chase Faces Crested Cranes Barrier
The Copper Queens’ rollercoaster ride at the on-going COSAFA Women’s Championship faces a sterner test today when they face the Crested Cranes of Uganda.
Zambia need to avoid defeat against Uganda this afternoon in a Group C battle to secure direct qualification to the semi-finals of the tournament.
The match will be played at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at 15:30 hours and will be live on SuperSport 229 Variety 4 and streamed live on www.cosafa.tv.
Wins against Eswatini (5-0) and Namibia (3-0) in the opening two fixtures put the Copper Queens in good standing with six points and two better than Uganda while Namibia has a point with Eswatini posting two straight losses.
However, a defeat at the hands of the Crested Cranes can still qualify the Copper Queens to the last four as best runner-up thanks to their healthy +8 goal difference but it is a thought that the technical bench has refused to entertain.
Uganda are credible opponents; one of the four unbeaten teams in the tournament, and the likelihood of Zambia fielding a strong squad is high, with Ngambo Musole likely to start in goal ahead of Catherine Musonda and Eunice Sakala.
Outstanding in the last two games, defender Margaret Belemu is expected to start as right back.
The central defence will be anchored by Agness Musase and Lushomo Mweemba while Mary Mulenga or Vast Phiri may be deployed on the left. Margaret Mulenga and Patricia Lampi have also been impressive in training.
Milika Limwanya, Mary Wilombe, Elizabeth Mupeso, Esther Namukwasa, Avell Chitundu and Thandiwe Nkhata will compete for the few midfield positions to supply balls, stability, and creativity to hardworking captain Grace Chanda and Ochumba Oseke Lubanji upfront.
Penelope Mulubwa, Happy Pinto give the technical bench enough options upfront.
In the other Group C fixture, Namibia will host Eswatini at Madibaz stadium in a dead-rubber match.
South Africa and Tanzania have already qualified to the semis, and the last four will be complete after today’s Matchday 3 fixtures.