Zambia Women’s National Team star Barbara Banda ran the China PR defence ragged on Saturday with some supreme athleticism and more top-drawer finishing to produce a second successive hat-trick – an unprecedented achievement in women’s Olympic football history.
Zambia were 3-1 down and seemingly on the ropes in the first half, but the young captain’s zeal is infectious and the Copper Queens were ultimately unlucky not to claim all three points with the final score ending 4 all.
Banda has also already equalled the record single-tournament mark of six goals set by Christine Sinclair at London 2012 – a feat matched by Netherlands’ Miedema later on the matchday. All this in 180 minutes from an unheralded 21-year-old leading the line for a nation ranked 104th and making their major tournament debut.
Not content with becoming the first African player to score a hat-trick at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament when she ran riot against the Netherlands, Barbra Banda repeated that historic feat to thwart the People’s Republic of China
The Zambia striker can now pride herself on being the only player to have banged in two trebles in the women’s competition.
After just two games, she has also equalled Christine Sinclair’s record for goals at a single edition, the Canada forward having struck six times at London 2012.
All in all, Banda’s achievement was almost enough to overshadow Wang Shuang’s remarkable four goals at the other end.
“I am aiming to become the best footballer in the world,“ Banda told FIFA.com minutes after the match.
Zambia were 3-1 down and seemingly on the ropes in the first half, but the young captain’s zeal is infectious and the Copper Queens were ultimately unlucky not to claim all three points.
“It was our first time in a big competition for most of the girls, and I think they have gained morale now. We have a strong feeling that we can do something in the third match [against Brazil]. In the next game, we want the three points.”
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