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Zambia Squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

Zambia announced their 23-player squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. Check out here the full squad and players list.

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Last updated: 15.07.2023
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The exciting Zambian team will be offering their magic at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after the not-so-great Olympics two years ago. They are not immune to off-field issues either and rather serious ones as other competing nations in the Women’s World Cup are suffering from. Zambia’s head coach Bruce Mwape is under investigation by both the country’s board and FIFA over sexual misconduct accusations but forward Barbra Banda says they will maintain their job on the pitch.    


Qualification for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

At the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Zambia was one of the sides making it to the semifinals of the competition thereby qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The Copper Queens did not lose a single game before this stage and beat Senegal in the quarterfinals through penalties to take them to the dream land. Eventual champions South Africa beat them by a single goal in the last four but they gained more than they lost.            

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Preparation for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

Zambia played a lot of games including competitive ones and friendlies to set them well for the prestigious tournament ahead. Results have also been mixed with heavy defeats to South Korea, a 3-3 draw against Switzerland but above all a historical 3-2 win over Germany at their place in the last friendly. Barbra Banda was in the heart of things again, putting her side into the lead before Kundananji doubled it before the hour mark. Lea Schuller then scored at the start of a lengthy stoppage time to spark a comeback which was completed by Alexander Popp levelling with a header. However, there was still time for Banda to race onto a loose ball and lob it over goalkeeper Merle Frohms to secure the victory.            


Zambia Squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

Goalkeepers: Catherine Musonda (Tomiris-Turan), Eunice Sakala (Nkwazi Queens), Leticia Lungu

Defenders: Margaret Belemu (Shanghai Shengli), Martha Tembo (BIIK Shymkent), Lushomo Mweemba (Green Buffaloes), Agness Musase (Green Buffaloes), Esther Banda (BUSA), Judith Soko (YASA), Mary Mulenga (Red Arrows), Vast Phiri (ZESCO Ndola Girls)

Midfielders: Ireen Lungu (BIIK Shymkent), Hellen Chanda (BIIK Shymkent), Evarine Katongo (KISD Women), Mary Wilombe (Red Arrows), Susan Banda (Red Arrows), Avell Chitundu (ZESCO Ndula Girls)

Forwards: Xiomara Mapepa (Elite Ladies), Ochumba Lubanji (Elite Ladies), Hellen Mubanga (Zaragoza CFF), Grace Chanda (Madrid CFF), Racheal Kundananji (Madrid CFF), Barbra Banda (Shanghai Shengli)

 

Head Coach: Bruce Mwape

 

Goalkeeper Hazel Nali tore her ACL during the preparation camp in Germany only days before the tournament. The news comes as a massive blow to Zambia. As a replacement for the first-choice keeper, 18-year-old Leticia Lungu has been called in to join the team. Leticia made the initial squad earlier but will join the other two in her position, Catherine Musonda and Eunice Sakala in the final one this time. Despite failing the gender eligibility test due to her high testosterone levels, Barbra Banda is eligible to participate as FIFA does not subject players to the test.


Strength

The forward will arguably be one of the finest in the competition if not the best with the ruthless Barbra Banda leading it. She will also receive the best service from her partner Grace Chanda to feed goals for Zambia. There are agile wingers on the flank like Xiomara Mapepa and Racheal Kundananji who are decent finishers as well. They all bring versatility in their role with Chanda and Kundananji, scoring 25 goals in 29 league matches for her club, behaving as extra forwards. The team certainly carry the mentality to trouble the opponents bigger than them and even beat them like the 3-2 result against Euro finalists Germany in the buildup.       

         

Weakness

If the team is capable of scoring a lot of goals, they have been found guilty of leaking too much as well. Most often their attack is let down by their defence restricting the team to hold an advantage or letting the game out of their grasp. It was a glaring trait in the build-up Women’s World Cup and also happened at the Olympics in 2021. Even in the victory over Germany, they let the opponents level the score from 2-0 down before the late winner from Banda. The defense is relatively young so there is a lack of leadership figure at the back. It will also be hard to resist sharing the dressing room with an accused figure who is their tutor as well.                   


Key Player: Barbra Banda



An epitome of a classy forward, Barbra Banda will be bringing her flair and deadly finishes in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The 23-year-old showed her goal-scoring brilliance in the Olympics by becoming the first woman to score consecutive hat tricks in that competition. Those performances came against teams like the Netherlands and China. Although neither of the group games ended in a win and Zambia bow out from the group stages, Banda was the shining star throughout. She was on the scoresheet in that incredible victory over Germany proving her big game player tag. Unable to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations to help in qualification for medical reasons, the Zambian captain will be raring to go to the top level again. Her space exploitation, pace, power and end product will excite even the neutrals.     


How will Zambia Lineup at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023?



Zambia FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Groups & Fixtures


Group C

Costa Rica

Spain

Japan

Zambia  

 

Fixtures 

Saturday, 22 July 2023

Zambia vs Japan - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton (12:30)

Wednesday, 26 July 2023

Spain vs Zambia - Eden Park, Auckland (13:00)

Monday, 31 July 2023

Costa Rica vs Zambia - Waikato Stadium, Hamilton (12:30)


Note: All timings are in Indian Standard Time (IST)  


Prediction

Like the Olympics, this will be an experience of professional football for Zambia in the Women’s World Cup. Probably also a motivation to qualify for future events as their progress shows. They are capable of pulling upsets although the level of competition will be greater with the likes of Spain and 2011 winners Japan making the group. As said, their flamboyant attack will not be helped by the leaky defence at all. However, they are here to fight and with the concerning matter to handle off-pitch wishing to get their debut win at the stage.     


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