WOMEN’S National team Coach Bruce Mwape was left all smiles after watching the Barbra Banda captained side thrash Lesotho 7-0 at the ongoing 2022 Hollywood Bets COSAFA championships in South Africa today.
A glut from Banda and goals apiece from Evarine Katongo and Xiomala Mapepa were enough for the Mwape coached side to maintain a 100 percent win record at this year’s tournament.
Mwape described the victory as sweet and a step in the right direction towards achieving the set target.
With this win, Zambia is guaranteed a place in the semi-finals but will have to keep up and finish strong against eSwatini on Tuesday.
“It’s a sweet victory and a step in the right direction for us but we shall not be moved by the result because we know what lay ahead of us. We played better today but still have to work on our coordination of play. We knew and told the players to enjoy themselves and feel free to express their talent,” Mwape said.
He said the team will remain focused and work on finishing strong against eSwatini.
“Barbra is our key player and she made use of all the chances that came her way. We told the midfielders to play the ball around because of her pace. Congratulations to the girls and we hope they don’t get carried away with this win. We shall continue to take every game as it comes,” said Mwape.
And Banda who was voted player of the match for the second time said the win is motivation to play even better in the next fixture.
“We played well as a team and this victory is motivation enough for us to work extra hard in our next fixture. I want to thank my team mates for making things a little bit easy for me otherwise I enjoy playing the beautiful game,” said Banda.
On the pitch, Banda put Zambia ahead in the 11th minute straight from an in-swinger corner set piece much to the delight of the fans that gathered to have a glance at the game.
On the half hour mark, Banda doubled the lead with a beautifully taken free kick which rocketed into the right top corner from the edge of the box after Katongo was brought down.
The Mwape tutored side continued to dictate play with Banda yet again combining with Ochumba Oseke but the later ballooned her effort from inside the box.
Evarine Katongo made it 3-0 with a beautiful header from within the box after benefiting from a Martha Tembo cross from the far right in the 45th minute.
In the second half the Copper Queens continued from where they had left with Banda scoring her third goal of the match in the 48th minute before unleashing another free kick masterclass in the 52 minute to make 5-0.
Four minutes later, the captain was back at it, stretching the score line to 6-0 with an easy chip-in to compete her glut before Xiomala Mapepa added her name to score sheet to make it 7-0 in the 66th minute.