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Copper Queens set for Olympics test, says Mwape

COPPER Queens coach Bruce Mwape says going as underdogs to the Tokyo Olympics gives his side an advantage.

However, Mwape is quick to say that his side is not an underdog despite being in the same group with the Netherlands, Brazil and China.

The Zambia national women’s football team, fondly referred to as the Copper Queens, is the only African representative at Olympics in Japan.

“Of course, in one way or another the teams that we are playing there is very little that they know about us. I am sure they are just watching us on some videos, maybe the game against Chile will be one of the games that they have watched because beating Chile at home they know it was not easy,” he said. “But it gives us an advantage going there as underdogs. And I am sure even them they know we are not underdogs for us to qualify. I am sure they know we are a team to reckon with.”

With team set to leave tomorrow for the showpiece, Mwape said he was happy with preparations so far ahead of the tournament.

“I am happy with the preparation though there is one thing that we missed; that is playing high profile friendly games. It could have helped us so much but otherwise we are set. We are actually ready for the tournament. As you know, we have been in camp for a long time now and we have done everything and we are just fine-tuning now,” said Mwape. “We are now concentrating on set pieces. I am impressed so far. We had a problem in defence but that has been sorted out. Playing Netherlands as the first game is a key. We are actually concentrating much on the opening game because that will be our morale booster, if we get the maximum points. And that’s the same massage we have been telling the players that they should work hard in the first game because it will give us an advantage.”

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