By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
AFTER finishing as COSAFA silver medalists, the senior women’s national team have pledged to work extra hard to ensure they qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
She-polopolo shift focus to the second round first leg Olympic qualifying match against Zimbabwe scheduled for August 28, in Lusaka.
Zambia on Sunday lost 1-0 to South Africa in their first COSAFA final to grab silver. The two teams are scheduled to arrive back home tonight.
Goalkeeper Hazel Nali said the team will use lessons picked from the regional tournament to inspire an historic Olympic qualification.
Nali said the team was not disappointed with their performance in South Africa despite failing to win the title.
“We are not disappointed with our performance. We made a few errors and failed to score against South Africa. This tournament was some sort of preparation for us ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.”
“We will work on the mistakes in order to qualify for Olympics,” Nali said.
COSAFA player of the tournament striker Hellen Mubanga said she was happy to have impressed at the tournament after a long absence due to injury. “I am happy to have impressed in the tournament especially after an injury. As a player these are the things you should aim for apart from the title. I will continue to work hard as we have an upcoming qualifier match,” Mubanga said.
Golden boot winner Rachel Nachula who netted 10 goals has hailed her teammates for the unity and hard work.
“So happy to have gotten the golden boot award and it’s all thanks to my teammates. They encouraged me to score every time I had the ball. The final was a 50/50 game and we just had a lapse in concentration and they pounced on it,” she said.
Zambia Sports Fans Association patron Peter Makembo said the team showed passion and dedication in each game. Makembo said their performance showed that the future of women’s football is bright.