WAFCON 2022 Preview: Nigeria Vs Zambia

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria will battle for the Bronze medal at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) tournament on Friday when they square off against Zambia, by 9 p.m (Nigerian time) at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco.

Nigeria were beaten by hosts Morocco in the semifinals, while the Copper Queens of Zambia lost to Banyana Banyana of South Africa as both saw their hopes of winning the title ended.

The Supere Falcons will be without a number of their leading players, with Halimatu Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade to miss the game due to suspension. Defender Onome Ebi and star player Asisat Oshoala are absent with injury.

The Super Falcons of Nigeria in training.

“We have two players suspended as a result of red cards in the last game, and we also have some players down with injury,” Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum said.

“So, there will be changes but we will go for the best legs that would give us victory.”

The Super Falcons are favourites for the third spot, but come up against a resilient Zambian side who made South Africa sweat before progressing to the finals of the tournament.

The Copper Queens of Zambia.

“It is true that we have gone beyond our expectations. I’m proud of my team, the way they played, but above all even more proud of their behaviour,” Zambia coach Bruce Mwape said.

“The courage of this team will be our greatest strength in the years to come. They were masterful.”

Nigeria last met Zambia in the 2018 edition of the WAFCON tournament, beating the Copper Queens 4-0. However, the Zambians are a much improved team coming into the match, as displayed by their performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Zambia along with Nigeria have also qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.