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Women's World Cup: Zambia Women's Team Profile

Zambia head to the Women's World Cup for the first time this year and they will be desperate to lay down some foundations for the years to come.

Zambia have already made history as the first landlocked nation in Africa to qualify for a senior World Cup in both men's and women's football, but they are hoping to pull off a few upsets under coach Bruce Mwape.

At 500/1 they are considered outsiders for the event, but they are the third favourites to win Group C at 100/1, behind Spain Women and Japan Women, but ahead of Costa Rica Women.

Zambia's World Cup record:

Zambia will compete at the Women's World Cup for the first time, having narrowly missed out in 2014 and 2018.

They are not the only country making their debut at the tournament, with Haiti, Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, and Vietnam also set to appear at the World Cup for the first time.

How Zambia qualified:

As in the previous World Cup cycle, the women's Africa Cup of Nations served as the World Cup qualifying tournament for CAF members. Zambia progressed to the quarter-finals before beating Senegal 4-2 on penalties, with goalkeeper Hazel Nali scoring the winning spot kick. 

Mwape's side lost 1-0 to South Africa, who went on to win the tournament, but Zambia beat Nigeria 1-0 to claim third place, which was enough to secure qualification.

The Manager - Bruce Mwape:

Mwape took over the Zambian women's national team in December 2018 and he has taken the group to another level since replacing Albert Kachinga.

Mwape is confident his team can make history later this year, but he has already made a big difference, helping his team compete in the Women's Olympics, as well as their first-ever podium finish at the CAF Women's Africa Cup of Nations.

The 63-year-old previously coached Zambia Super League outfit Nchanga Rangers prior to taking over the national team. 

Confirmed Zambia squad:

Zambia are yet to confirm their travelling party for the World Cup, but their provisional squad is listed below.

Goalkeepers: Catherine Musonda (Indeni Roses), Eunice Sakala (Nkwazi), Hazel Nali (Fatih Vatan), Chitete Munsaka (Elite Ladies), Letisha Lungu (ZESCO Ndola Girls)

Defenders: Margaret Belemu (Shanghai Shengli), Lushomo Mweemba (Green Buffaloes), Esther Banda (BUSA), Agness Musase (Green Buffaloes), Esther Siamfuko (Green Buffaloes), Judith Soko (YASA), Jacqueline Nkole (Indeni Roses), Vast Phiri (ZESCO United), Mary Mulenga (Red Arrows), Pauline Zulu (Elite Ladies), Martha Tembo (BIIK Shymkent)

Midfielders: Misozi Zulu (Hakkarigucu Spor), Evarine Katongo (ZISD), Mary Wilombe (Red Arrows), Susan Banda (Red Arrows), Rhoda Chileshe (Indeni Roses), Prisca Chilufya (Fatih Karagümrük), Avell Chitundu (ZESCO Ndola Girls), Xiomara Mapepa (Elite Ladies), Comfort Selemani (Elite Ladies), Ireen Lungu (BIIK Shymkent), Hellen Chanda (BIIK Shymkent)

Forwards: Lubandji Ochumba (Red Arrows), Regina Chanda (ZANACO Ladies), Barbra Banda (Shanghai Shengli), Maylan Mulenga (Green Buffaloes), Hellen Mubanga (Zaragoza CFF), Racheal Nachula (Zaragoza CFF), Grace Chanda (Madrid CFF), Racheal Kundananji (Madrid CFF)

Zambia's Key Players:

Striker Barbra Banda's quality will be crucial to Zambia's chances and she is in good form heading into the event.

The 23-year-old has scored 36 goals for the national team since making her debut in September 2017. She plays her club football in China for Shanghai Shengli and her partnership with Racheal Kundananji will be pivotal.

Kundananji dons the colours of Madrid CFF at club level and she has six goals to her name for Zambia so far. Another Madrid CFF player, Grace Chanda, has 10 goals to her name, while experienced midfielders Avell Chitundu, Evarine Katongo and Misozi Zulu will hope to create plenty of chances for the star pair.

Zambia's Group fixtures:

Group C:
Zambia vs Japan, Hamilton, Saturday 22nd July 2023
Spain vs Zambia, Auckland, Wednesday 26th July 2023
Costa Rica vs Zambia, Hamilton, Monday 31st July 2023

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