Monday Oct 25, 2021. 13:10
Shepolopolo Zambia hope to redeem themselves at home on Tuesday and advance to the final stage of the Morocco 2022 Women’s AFCON qualifiers.
Zambia hosts 2021 COSAFA Women’s Cup runners-up Malawi on October 26 in a first round, last leg match at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
The two sides are locked at 1-1 from the first leg played on October 20 in Lilongwe in a match that saw Shepolopolo miss a 6th minute penalty then later take a 20th minute lead through midfielder and captain Grace Chanda.
But Malawi later stole a draw with a 66th minute equalizer.
“That is football it happens to miss chances but we will ensure we work hard at home,” Chanda said.
“Yes, we wasted chances in the first leg but we are confident because we are playing at home and in front of our fans.
Our chances are very bright despiter the draw and all we have to do is ensure we are clinical at home.
“But the onus is especially on us the strikers to make sure we do our job right to score so that we go to the next round.”
A draw would still be enough for Shepolopolo to progress on away goals rule but ultimately a home victory is what on coach Bruce Mwape’s mind who has no injuries or suspensions heading into the last leg.
Winner over both legs will face giant-killers Namibia who stunned 2021 COSAFA Women’s Cup champions 2-1 away in Dar es Salaam and won 3-2 in Johannesburg to progress to the final qualifying stage.
Oddly, Zambia heads into the match still without a home win in the Women’s AFCON qualifiers since the 2016 race when they beat Namibia 2-1 in a first round tie before Zimbabwe eliminated them with back-to-back wins.
Zambia’s successful 2018 qualifiers where the same when they drew away and at home in the first round against Tanzania, then lost 1-0 in Lusaka to Zimbabwe but redeemed themselves in the final leg in Harare to clinch qualification with a 2-1 win.