By Agnes Amondi,
Mary Mwakapila and Hellen Mubanga scored the decisive goals that sent Zambia Women’s national football team to their first ever Olympics tournament.
This was during the return leg of the fifth and final round of the CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifies on Tuesday afternoon that ended in a 2-1 win for the hosts, hence a 4-4 goal aggregate in favour of the host who booked their ticket on away goal at the Nkoloma Stadium.
She polopolo needed to win to seal the solo ticket available for Africa after a 3-2 defeat last Thursday in Yaoundé.
The hosts began the match with intent. It only took fifteen minutes for Mwakapila to level the aggregate score to 3-3 and stun the visitors who couldn’t find a reply.
At the stroke of half time, Mubanga doubled to hand Zambia the silver bullet. Their dominance and relentlessness paid off.
Barbara Banda pulled the strings for the Bruce Mwape coached side as she was influenced the game from midfield.
Second half, Cameroon put a spirited fight. They had some chances but didn’t capitalize despite them being very few.
The result being an Ajara Nchout’s extra time goal that wasn’t enough as Zambia sailed through on away goals.
The result means Zambia became the third Southern African nation to qualify for the Summer Games after South Africa (2012 and 2016) and Zimbabwe (2016).
Also, the fifth African nation to qualify for the Summer Women’s Olympics after Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The Lionnes host Chile on April 9 before they travel to Chile for the return leg six days later in a playoff for a slot at the summer games.
Zambia Women’s national team starting XI:
Hazel Nali, Martha Tembo, Margaret Belemu, Anita Mulenga, Lushomo Mweemba, Judith Zulu, Mary Mwakapila, Barbara Banda, Rachel Nachula, Hellen Mubanga, and Grace Chanda
Cameroon’s starting line-up to face Zambia:
Ange Bawou (GK), Estelle Johnson, Marie Awona, MTcheno, Ndzana Noah, Grace Yango, Charlene Meyong, Omboudou Brigitte, Ajara Njoya, OngueneGabri (cap), Takounda Alexandra