Shepolopolo eager to use COSAFA Women’s Championship to build for AFCON

Shepolopolo hope the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship will be a stepping stone to greater things ahead of their Ghana 2018 Women’s AFCON campaign later in November.

Shepolopolo entered camp in Lusaka on August 1 to prepare for the COSAFA tournament that South Africa is hosting in September.

“This year, our target is to reach the final because we are going to use the COSAFA as a stepping stone for how we are going to perform at the AFCON where we will meet the elite of African football,” Shepolopolo assistant coach Kape Saili said.

“It would be a wonderful thing if we get to the COSAFA final and probably lift it because it has eluded us for a long time.

“We have been bronze medallists three times but we are hoping that this year, we can get into the final and get either silver or gold.”

The 2017 bronze medallists head to the COSAFA Cup just two months after they sweated blood to the 2018 AFCON finals that they capped with a stunning 2-1 away triumph over nemesis and favourites Zimbabwe on June 10 in Harare to qualify 2-2 on away goals rule after overturning a 1-0 first leg loss at home on June 6 in Lusaka.

However, the first round too earlier in April was not short of drama for the three-time COSAFA bronze medallists who showed character by overcoming a plucky Tanzania to advance 4-4 on away goals rule following a 1-1 home and 3-3 away draw in the final leg.

“It is a huge step for us, the resilience that the girl showed from the first round of the AFCON qualifiers was awesome, it was great but we managed to turn the tables and eventually qualified for the AFCON,” Saili said.

“So we are hoping to do well at the COSAFA, and later at AFCON after missing out on the last edition.

“We also want to reach the semifinals (in Ghana) and try and qualify to the World Cup.”

By Kalumiana Kalumiana