Zambia is out of the on-going Total Ghana 2018 Africa Women Championship after amassing four points from 5-0 win over Equatorial Guinea, a 4-0 loss to Nigeria and a draw against South Africa in yesterday’s final group played in Accra.
The one all draw against South Africa directed the Copper Queens out of the tournament despite coach Bruce Mwape having hoped for a rebound on a basis of South Africa being a familiar opponent.
The Copper Queens have been without skipper Barbara Banda who was side-lined because of an injury she picked during training. Banda, who plays in Spain’s Logrono, was a possible instrument to guide Shepolopolo to victory and qualifying to the semifinals thereafter.
It was a thunderous start against the Banyana Banyana of South Africa as both teams recorded poor possession in the early minutes of the game. South Africa however displayed more accurate passes and paced through the Shepolopolo defence and scored in the 7’ minute. Golden Shepolopolo ladies also found the back of the net in the 11’ minute after Rachael Kundananji benefitted from Mary Mwakapila’s pass aced from outside the 18.
In an exchange of attacks that stayed vicious in the 32’ minute of the first half, Rachael Kundananji and Grace Chanda launched a well-calculated move that left the South African defence laid bare. Kundananji’s shot however went too wide to record a second goal for the Copper Queens. It was 1-1 on half time.
As the second half got under way, South Africa exhibited superiority over the Zambian ladies as they kept defending while Banyana Banyana launced missiles that resulted into no goal. Shepolopolo’s Hazel Nali unleashed the soldier in her and stopped most shots that South Africa’s striker Busisiwe Ndimeni and midfielder Mamello Makhabane fired.
The game transitioned into a tedious one between the 55’ and 79’ minute as both teams succumbed to a no attack one played in centre field of the pitch. A counter attack by the Shepolopolo ladies that caused panic to South Africa goalie Kaylin Swart saw no fruition as newly introduced Grace Zulu shot wide. The game ended 1-1.