Gaborone — The senior women national football team will leave tomorrow for Lusaka, Zambia where they will play against Copper Queens of Zambia in the first leg of the Tokyo 2020 third round Olympic qualifier.
The game will be played at Nkoloma Stadium on Tuesday, while the second leg will be played at the Francistown Stadium on October 8.
The team's assistant coach, Alex Malete said in an interview that they were expecting a tough game in Lusaka.
"It is a tough game than the ones we played against Namibia and South Africa and it will be our first time starting away as we played the two games at home first. However, we are not worried. We know how Zambia plays," he said.
Malete said Zambia had good attacking players and some of them were based in Europe.
He added that they had been studying their Spanish-based striker, who is also the vice captain, Barbara Banda's movements. He said Zambia was a good side and they were highly ranked.
Zambia is in position 119 while Botswana is in position 152 in FIFA rankings.
He however said they were not worried, given that when they played both South Africa and Namibia, nobody gave them a chance. "We are doing a lot of video analysis and our training is very specific to our game plan and we are training during the day because the game will be played in the afternoon, so we wanted the players to adapt. It is just that this week it was not hot as we had anticipated," he said.
The assistant coach further said the players were ready and committed, adding that what motivated the technical team was the fact that all the players looked forward to represent the country.
Meanwhile, Copper Queens assistant coach, Beauty Mwamba was quoted by Football Association of Zambia saying preparations were going well despite having to do without two of their key defenders, who would be on national assignment. She said defenders, Anita Mulenga and Agness Musesa had been ruled out of the crunch tie.
The technical bench has roped in Emeldah Musonda, Milika Limwanya, Fikile Khosa and Grace Nanyinza as possible replacements.
"It will be a tough one. Botswana is a good side and having eliminated South Africa says a lot about them.
We know they have been preparing the time we were at Cosafa.
Most of their senior players were not with the team. So they have been preparing for some time and that is why they are doing fine. We know it will be a tough encounter and we need to overcome," she said.
Source : BOPA