By NATION REPORTER
THE Zambia national women’s soccer team preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will come under scrutiny when the Bruce Mwape-drilled Copper Queens date World Cup bound Republic of Ireland in today’s international friendly slated for Tallaght Stadium in Dublin.
The Copper Queens who will compete in Group C at the World Cup with Spain, Japan and Costa Rica have spent a week in Furth, Germany preparing for the World Cup scheduled to kick off on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
Today’s game in Dublin is crucial as it will show if the Copper Queens have made progress after struggling to beat Tanzania in a send off fixture played recently at Woodlands Stadium and ended 1-0 in favour of Zambia before the team switched camp to Germany.
The friendly match is also crucial for Mwape to assess the coordination of the key players, Rachel Kundananji and Barbra Banda who have been struggling to combine well upfront.
Mwape said the team has covered the areas they need to work on before facing Ireland in the first international friendly.
Mwape believes the Copper Queens have improved and are ready to face Ireland today after spending a Week in Germany.
“We have covered most of the things. We have done tactics; techniques and we are now doing the physical part and every player did well. Even on coordination there is an improvement now compared to the way we played against Tanzania. This time around things have changed and there is a lot of improvements and coordination is okay,” Mwape said.
For Copper Queens midfielder Suzan Katongo, today’s friendly is important for the players who are determined to take the game seriously.
“This friendly is not going to be an easy friendly because we are playing against experienced players and it will be our first time playing against Ireland and we have to take the gave very seriously because it won’t be an easy game,” Katongo said.
Meanwhile, today’s preparatory fixture is also crucial for Ireland as they prepare for the World Cup where they will compete in group B consisting of co-hosts Australia, Mexico and African giants Nigeria.