Super Falcons’ Group B opponents at the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON), the Shepolopolo of Zambia have released their final 21-woman squad list for the tournament.
The final squad features three goalkeepers, eight defenders, five midfielders and five strikers that Shepolopolo head coach Bruce Mwape hopes will be enough to secure a maiden win at the finals. Zambia are making their second ever appearance at an AWCON and would be hoping to do better than in Namibia in 2014 where they could only pick up one draw and two losses.
The squad to Ghana features a blend of experience and youth with six players from the 2014 Namibia squad making the plane to Ghana – Mary Mwakapila, Anita Mulenga, Hellen Mubanga, Hazel Nali, Grace Zulu and Barbara Banda – although the Shepolopolo will have to make do without the USA based Memory Phiri who misses out because of passport issues.
The team began preparations for the tournament by securing a morale-boosting come-from-behind 3 – 2 victory over tournament hosts The Black Queens of Ghana on Tuesday, with Racheal Kundananyi bagging a hat-trick. They will now head to Ivory Coast on Thursday for the final leg of their preparations before making the journey to Cape Coast for the championships.
Shepolopolo kick off against the Harambee Starlets of Kenya on the 18th, they play the Falcons on the 21st and round off their group matches against Bayana Bayana of South Africa on the 24th.
ZAMBIA FINAL SQUAD
GOALKEEPERS: Catherine Musonda (Indeni), Hazel Nali (Green Buffaloes), Chiko Nkhoma (Red Arrows).
DEFENDERS: Lushomo Mweemba (Nwazi), Anita Mulenga (Green Buffaloes), Margaret Belemu (Red Arrows), Marthe Tembo (Green Buffaloes), Jacqueline Nkole (Indeni), Agness Musase (Green Buffaloes), Vast Phiri (Zesco), Grace Zulu (Indeni).
MIDFIELDERS: Mary Mwakapila (Green Buffaloes), Ireene Lungu (Green Buffaloes), Judith Zulu (Green Buffaloes), Hellen N. Chanda (Red Arrows), Avell Chitundu (Zesco).
STRIKERS: Hellen Mubanga (Red Arrows), Grace Chanda (Zesco), Lubandji Ochumba Oseke (Nkwazi), Racheal Kundanaji (Indeni), Barbara Banda (EDF Logrono, Spain).