Shepolopolo midfielder Mary Mwakapila says Zambia are driven to defeat the Super Falcons because they “really want to change the tables” and get an experience of “how it feels to become a champion”.
Both sides face off in the second round of Group B fixtures at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Wednesday 21, November in the ongoing 2018 African Women Cup of Nations and having defeated Equatorial Guinea in their first group match for a first-ever victory at the AWCON, the 25-year old midfielder says there is now “morale” to get a first-ever win against Nigeria in order to achieve their pre-tournament goal of securing World Cup qualification and returning home as champions.
“I want to say as a player the game we played against Equatorial Guinea gave me morale and my team we are looking forward to ensure that our aim is established at the end of the tournament,” the diminutive midfielder said.
“We came into this tournament with an aim of qualifying to the World Cup and also going back with the cup in Zambia and as far as I’m concerned winning Equatorial Guinea is not yet the aim that we have come here for. Our aim is to qualify so we are going to do our level best and we are going to work as a team to make sure that we beat Nigeria, we beat South Africa and qualify to the finals we play the finals we get a slot to the World Cup and we are home and dry.”
Mwakapila sounds understandably confident, as she may well be, after getting on the score-sheet in that five-nil hammering of Equatorial Guinea. Although the Falcons who will surely be smarting from their opening game loss to South Africa may boast a much higher footballing pedigree with superstar players and can call on the memory of the six-nil drubbing meted out to Zambia in the group stage of the 2014 AWCON in Namibia, Nwakapila says the Nigerians will find it tough as the Shepolopolo “are not ready to give up the three points” and “will fight to the end”.
“I think Nigeria has a quite strong striking force,” said Mwakapila who plays in the Zambian league for Green Buffaloes FC.
“Looking at the likes of Oshoala, she’s also got speed [but] I have my own strengths and I feel it will be a tough game but I don’t think we are ready to give up the three points. We really want to change the tables we also want to become champions like them we want to feel how they feel, how it feels to become a champion that’s what I want to feel and for that reason it is the drive that is in me that is what will make our team to fight until the end.”