Africa: Copper Queens Zambia Shape for Tokyo 2020 With Two Friendlies

Africa's representatives in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Women's Football Tournament Zambia's Copper Queens Zambia have secured two friendlies against South Africa and Kenya.

The Olympics debutants lost 3-1 to Banyana Banyana on 10 April at Bidvest Wits Stadium in Johannesburg. Noko Matlou scored a brace and Thembi Kgatlana added South Africa's third, as Banyana came from behind after Barbara Banda opened the scoring for the visitors Zambia.

Zambia will later host Kenya in the last week of April at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.

The Copper Queens entered a preparatory camp in Lusaka last Monday in their first pre-Olympics get-together since their 28 November away friendly 2-1 over Chile in Santiago.

But Copper Queens coach Bruce Mwape said he will be without his overseas-based players for the two friendlies due to their club commitments, saying he will give the chance for some junior internationals for possible inclusion in his Olympics team.

Among six Zambia junior internationals summoned, three are from the Under-17 national team, including defender Esther Siamfuko and forwards Esther Banda and Judith Soko.

"The abroad based players will not be here although we wanted them to be part of these preparations against South Africa and Kenya but for their club commitments," Mwape said.

"We are trying to give the Under-17s a chance so they can also express themselves, so if they are able to do well, then they will be considered for the Olympic Games.

"It is better they face stiff competition like playing a good side in South AfricaThese games are basically for selection of players," he added.

Meanwhile, the Copper Queens will know their Tokyo Olympic Women's Football Tournament opponents on April 21st when the draw is conducted in Zurich, Switzerland.

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