African representatives set to start campaign against Dutch ahead of matches against China and Brazil
Zambia head coach Bruce Mwape revealed his plan to stop the Netherlands in the Group F opening match of the Tokyo Olympics at Miyagi Stadium on Wednesday.
Zambia are Africa’s only representative at the Olympics and are set to face the Netherlands, China and Brazil in their pool, and Mwape is confident in a good result if his team remains tight against their European rivals.
“We know it’s the Netherlands, the team with a lot of experienced players, but we did well in the preliminaries to qualify. [for the Olympics], we therefore expect our players to perform well in this competition “, Mwape told media Faz.
“Our goal is to play a more compact game because if we let them go they can use their experience, but still the game is 90 minutes long and it depends on how you planned. They can have the experience. experience, but if we follow our plan things could be 50/50. “
In a previous interview, Copper Queens captain Barbara Banda explained why they are not intimidated by their group rivals: “We have played so many top games. We are not at all intimidated; our great achievement was in qualifying and our goal now is to do our best. The first game is always important. As we go into our first game we have to be on top of our level and get the first three points, ”she said.
“That will determine how far we go in the tournament. It’s up to them to show what they’re capable of, and I’m sure most of them will turn pro.”
Zambia returns to the Olympics 33 years after participating in the 1988 Games when the women’s national team advanced to the quarter-finals. The African nation competed in the 1976 games but boycotted the 1980 event for political reasons, even though it had qualified.
For the Netherlands opener, Mwape will miss the suspended Martha Tembo, while Grace Chanda, the country’s top scorer in the playoffs, is expected to start in the lead. On July 24, the Copper Queens will play against China before facing Brazil in the final group game a few days later.