WAFCON 2022 enters sudden death stage – World Cup ticket in sight as Zambia clash with Senegal 

WAFCON 2022 enters sudden death stage – World Cup ticket in sight as Zambia clash with Senegal 
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Zambia, like Senegal are eyeing first ever Women‘s World Cup ticket

The stakes are so high when Senegal face Zambia in Casablanca today that Senegal’s coach Mame Moussa Cissé knows there will be little need for his pre-match talk.

Senegal, like Zambia are eyeing first ever Women‘s World Cup ticket

The team that wins this quarter final will qualify directly for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which would be a first for either of these nations.

“No speech can motivate more than the stakes of this match, a place in the last four of this competition, but above all qualification for the World Cup. This generation can be a pioneer in Senegal, and change the course of the history of women’s football in the country,” says Cissé.

The Lionesses of Teranga will be boosted by the return of three key players in Coumba Sylla Mbodji, Anta Dembélé and Nguenar Ndiaye, who have all again tested negative for Covid-19.

“Zambia is not to be taken lightly. They finished first in a group that contained Cameroon and Tunisia, two difficult teams to play against, which we met during our preparation for WAFCON,” warns Senegal’s Ndeye Awa Diakité, before adding that “we are aware of our strengths and will give everything to win”.

On the other hand, the Copper Queens are full of confidence, before their clash.

“We are well prepared. It is true that we have come a long way, but since the second group game we have been stepping up,” said Hazel Nali, Zambia’s goalkeeper.

When Bruce Mwapé, the Zambian coach, was asked how he viewed Senegal, he replied: “They are a good team who did not arrive at this level by chance. We have a lot of respect for them, but we don’t fear them”.

Senegal and Zambia have a fairly similar playing identity, relying on an attacking trio (Mapepa-Chanda-Chitundu for Copper Queens and Diallo-Ndiaye-Baldé supported by Diakité for Senegal) and a solid defence (both have conceded only one goal in the tournament to date).

The goal of qualifying for the World Cup hugely motivates both teams.

“This is not the time to give up,” says Bruce Mwapé.

Qualifying for a FIFA World Cup, in turn says Diakite, will bring so much to women’s football in Senegal.

“Being the first generation to be able to do this must not be synonymous with the last, our young sisters are watching us, they must now say to themselves that it is possible,” concludes Diakité ahead of the biggest game of her and her country’s history.


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