Zambia is a tough opponent – SAFA

ZAMBIA Under-20  women team has experienced players and therefore South Africa should brace herself for a tough match on Sunday,  South African Football Association (SAFA) women’s technical director Fran Hilton-Smith has said.

Smith told AFA media that Sunday’s U-20 New Papua Guniea 2016 World Cup second round qualifier at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium against Zambia was crucial and a must-win game for South Africa.

“This is a very crucial match. Zambia qualified for the last World Cup at U-17 level, so most likely all the players from that squad will have graduated to the U-20 team which means they have all the experience under their belt.

”So our players really need to go out there and give their all because we are expecting a very tough encounter this weekend. I am hoping our team Basetsana will qualify to be present at that World Cup,” she said.

She said it was good that Basetsana were playing their first leg away but they had to score.

“It is much better for us to play the first leg away, but then we have to score goals – which has been a problem with most of our teams, we are not scoring as much as we should and that is the priority;  we need a victory away to return home with our confidence high,” she said.

Meanwhile, Zambia coach Oswald Mutapa is happy with his players’ level of fitness and commitment to training.

“The girls are in good shape. The morale is high in camp and they are determined to get a positive result on Sunday. We are playing at home and we need to win by a big margin,” he said.

He said the lasses will not underrate South Africa as they would want to prove a point.

South Africa defeated Botswana 9-1 on aggregate while Zambia beat Tanzania 4-0 to qualify for the second round.

Basetsana head coach Elisabeth Migchelsen has maintained the bulk of the team that played against Botswana. She has called up 24 players to camp before she names the final 20.