Tuesday Jun 15, 2021. 17:00
Shepolopolo Zambia striker Rachel Kundananji has described the forthcoming women’s international friendly date against hosts Team Great Britain as the ultimate test for the team.
Team GB will host fellow Tokyo Olympic Women’s Football tournament finalists Shepolopolo on July 1 in a pre-tournament friendly at English Championship club Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium.
This will be Shepolopolo’s second pre-Olympic friendly since April 10 when they lost 3-1 away to Banyana Banyana South Africa at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg.
Kundananji of Kazakhstan side BIIK Kazygurt, who joined pre-Olympic camp this week in Lusaka, said she is looking forward to Shepolopolo’s debut meeting against a European opponent.
“We shall definitely learn a lot from this friendly like in which areas we are lacking as a team. Games like these push you to another level of performance especially that of our team that is coming from a background of playing mostly African opposition,” Kundananji said.
“As you know, the only other team we have played from outside Africa is Chile although some players like me were not there. So we are really looking forward to getting that national team experience at another level.”
Shepolopolo beat Chile 2-1 away in Santiago on November 28, 2019 in the senior women’s national teams’ debut meeting against a non-African opponent.
“I also believe that playing Britain will help us become a more rounded side before the Olympics,” Kundananji said.
“It will also give our coaches a greater insight into what to expect against the seasoned teams we are going to meet at the Olympics.”
Olympic debutants Zambia are in Group F in Tokyo where they are drawn against Brazil, China and Holland.
Shepolopolo will open the tournament against 2019 FIFA World Cup runners-up Holland on July 21 in Miyagi.