Zambian national team Coach Bruce Mwape came under fire after he announced his 24-member Squad for the trip to South Korea for two friendlies international matches against that country from soccer fans .
This was due to absence of midfielder Avell Chitundu and the Inclusion of ZISD striker Inonge Kaloustian were the topics on most lips of soccer lovers lof Zambia women’s national soccer team as they Questioned why Chitundu failed to make the trip after being one of the players that performed well during the WAFCON tournament in Morocco and the inclusion of yet to impress striker from ZISD who just recently joined the club on the six-month deal from her base in the US.
But coach Bruce Mwape came forward to defend his selection saying that all players he selected were picked on merit.
I don’t think there was any problem with the selection of players. We were just looking at the performance of individual players; those who showed that they can be part of the team are the ones that we picked,” Mwape told reporters before departure for Korea on Tuesday.“I don’t think there is any problem where selection is concerned. The players were actually picked on merit,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Copper Queens suffered back-to-back humiliating losses in Asia, and coach Bruce Mwape has blamed his defe mynse’s weaknesses what let for the team’s poor performances.
Zambia women’s national team coach Bruce Mwape has attributed the Copper Queens’ heavy back-to-back defeats at the hands of South Korea to poor defending by his side.
Zed Sports reports that Copper Queens were handed a 5-2 defeat last Friday by the Tigresses of Korea at the Suwon World Cup Stadium before hitting a new low in their Asian World Cup preparatory expedition as they were hammered 5-0 at the Yongin Mireu Stadium in Yongin City on Tuesday.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Mwape said lack of concentration in the defense had cost his side the 10-2 aggregate defeat in two matches at the hands of South Korea.
“In our second game I wanted to at least come up with a positive result but unfortunately we again conceded more goals, if you look at the way we are starting especially in the first half, we were able to contain them up to I think 25 minutes but again we started making mistakes,” Mwape said.“Like on the first goal they scored, it was a foul in the box which was supposed to be avoided. I think I can say she was trying to play the ball out but unfortunately, she pushed the player, so such kind of fouls can be avoided.”
As the Copper Queens continue building up to their debut 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance in July, Mwape says he needed to work on having a more composed backline before heading out to Australia and New Zealand.
“The lessons we have learned are that when it comes to defending it’s like we are not defending well, because if you start to allow goals like that [then it’s good], sometimes you cannot only blame the defenders although our defense on a one versus one situation they were easily beaten,” he said.
“Defending should start from right when you lose possession and if we can work on that one we will not be able to expose our defense like it was happening.”Meanwhile, Mwape also said the Copper Queens were missing key players in South Korea and were going to add to the team’s strength on their return before the World Cup.
“We do have the players it’s just that some of them are injured but I’m sure by the time we’ll be going to the World Cup they would have recovered fully and I’m sure that will make a difference, especially in defense where we were easily beaten,” said Mwape.
Mwape also identified his side’s aerial disadvantage against the South Koreans as one of the aspects needing to be worked on before the World Cup assignment.
“The other weakness which we have in defense is actually the height, if you saw the way those girls were playing, they were playing long balls to the tall striker so if we can only manage to contain that kind of play I think we will have no problem in as far as defending is concerned.”
Mwape further added that he was still far from deciding his final squad to be on the plane to Australia and New Zealand for the Mundial.“
We have not come up with the final team, I’m sure those who are injured and those that were missing like Margaret Belemu will come back and others will actually be dropped, it’s not everybody that will make it to the World Cup looking at the way we are playing,” he said.
The Copper Queens continue their preparations for the World Cup in June as they face the Republic of Ireland in their final warm-up encounter to be played in Dubliny