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A tactical analysis of Zambia’s 10-3 bashing by the Netherlands

Zambian Women’s National Soccer team were handed a 10-3 thrashing by the fourth highest-ranked team in the World, The Netherlands at their debut Olympic tournament.

The Copper Queens lined up a 4-2-3-1 formation against the Netherlands 4-3-3 formation. Here are some tactical observations, as broken dowwn by ZamFoot Crew.

The High line made the difference

While many soccer fans blamed coach Bruce Mwape for having played a high line, Zambia managed to contain what could have been a catastrophic scoreline if the Netherlands women were left to play their offensive style of football.

The high line was meant to try and play in their opponents’ half but the Netherlands’ efficiency utilized the spaces between the defending block and the goalkeepers’ line.

Sticking to the plan, the Shepolopolo style

During the qualifiers, Shepolopolo played possessive soccer and attacked as a unit. The teams’ ability to shoot around the 18 yards left their opponents unsuspecting of what was to come. That is the Shepolopolo we know but panic swept in after a Hazel Nali error with the team failing to hold on to possession and kept pumping long balls to skipper Barbara Banda.

The long balls meant the Netherlands who had the height advantage over our players dominated Possession.

Hazel sweeping Nali

Despite the error, the Shepolopolo shot-stopper showed why she was recalled going into the tournament with fine saves that made the difference.

Her ball distribution was on point and was unfortunate to have conceded 10 goals against a very clinical Orange Lionesses’ side.

Barbie in Tokyo

Shepolopolo skipper Barbra Banda rose to the occasion and showed class netting three for Shepolopolo becoming the first African female footballer to have scored a hatrick at the Olympics.

Barbra looked deadly whenever she held the ball and created chances for her compatriots.

The goals were also the first for Zambia making her the only female football player from Zambia to do so.

Coache’s rating

Despite the loss for the Copper Queens, the ZamFoot Crew gives Coach Bruce Mwape a 4/10 rating. Carrying the hopes of a continent was not going to be easy but one thing that coach Bruce Mwape got right was cutting out the Netherlands from expressing themselves as a team.

His defense may have conceded 10 but they seemed to have played according to instructions, yes they could have done better.


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8 Comments to A tactical analysis of Zambia’s 10-3 bashing by the Netherlands

  1. Banjani says:

    That was parthetic defending and it costed us credit to the bb and gk they did their best

  2. Brian Mulenga says:

    ” …to avoid a catastrophic whatever”…if that result was not catastrophic what was it? Very poor analysis. Bruce Mwape’s record as a coach is very questionable. Our girls are talented but have to be nurtured properly

  3. Kopala says:

    The rankings speak volumes

  4. Gift Daka says:

    For me the the goalkeeper can do better,most of the goals she showed no or little effort in trying to stop them. Defenders were left so vulnerable ,let the coach change the system the next game,let the gals play compact and use the gals pace for attack. Otherwise despite the Rankin the game was awful,we can represent Africa better than that.

  5. Slim says:

    Bruce has run his race! Him and Mpondela must be asked politely to step aside, let others take the button. This wamuyaya spirit appears to be in our DNA.

  6. Positive Thinking says:

    Imwe!!! Didn’t Kalusha score a hat trick against Italy in 1988 Seoul Olympics?? How is Barbara Banda the first African to score a hat trick? Or do you mean first African Female footballer to do so?

    • ZamFoot says:

      Yes, you are right. ‘Great Kalu’ scored 3 of the 4 goals against Italy at Seoul 1988 Olympics. In which case Barbra is the first African female footballer to achieve the same feat. We have ammended accordingly. Cheers for the support!

  7. Dean Ellis says:

    I am not understanding why players who helped the team to qualify were dropped for some newbies. The former sprinter Rachel Nachula, Misozi Zulu and a few others were dropped for some teenagers. If you wanted to use the Olympics to build a team at the occasion when the fruits of your labor should have revealed your pedigree. I mean you HAD a whole year off because of the pandemic to do thorough work. A 10 to 3 scoreline shows you did just the minimum.
    You need to tell the girls to pressure the ball without fouling. Always ball pressure and not the acres of freedom you allowed the Dutch girls. A RESPECTABLE SCORE LINE WITH THE DUTCH SHOULD BE A DIFFERENCE OF 2 AT MOST. NOT 7 AND AM SURE THERE ARE MORE BARBARA BANDAS IN ZAMBIA IF YOU DID THE WORK YOUARE BEING PAID FOR.

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