ADVANTAGE COPPER PRINCESSES… A MALUNGA CLOSE RANGE STRIKE AND ESTHER BANDA’S WONDER STRIKE GIVE ZAMBIA A 2-0 WIN
The Zambia U-17 Women’s national team this afternoon started their race for India 2020 FIFA Women’s Under 17 World Cup with a comfortable 2-nil victory in the second round the first leg of the qualifiers played at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium.
Two first half goals from Dorica Malunga and Esther Banda were all that the Copper Princesses needed to silence Bantwana 2-nil in a match they dominated play especially in the first half with 75% ball possession compared to South Africa’s 25%.
The Young Copper Queens dominated the first stanza and capitalized on Bantwana’s defensive lapses to take the lead in the 18th minute after great build-up play from Maweta Gloria Chilenga in the middle of the park who switched play to the far right-wing to find an onrushing Florence Kasonde who run with the ball in the 18-yard box before Unleashing a short which was difficult for South Africa’s goalkeeper Rosalie James to deal with and did not communicate well with her defenders and she ended up palling the ball into Dorica Malunga’s path who reacted quickly putting the ball in the back of the net with a powerful shit to give Zambia the advantage.
South Africa became alert at this point and tried to push for an equalizer pushing the ball forward on a number of times great cover at the back for Zambia with a defensive quad marshaled by team captain Esther ‘No Nonsense’ Siamfuko who partnered with a towering defender Edah Lungu who was later stretched off in the early minutes of the second half after suffering a knee injury played well alongside Margaret ‘Kabotolo’ Yambe at right-back and Martha Katila Banda on the left-back made sure Ing’hutu Muchahabali was well covered in goal because she wasn’t really tested in the first half.
Esther Banda who scored a beauty long-range goal in the 43rd minute had an awesome game, she enjoyed herself in the middle of the pack throughout the game combining well with Josephine Phiri who also had a fair match alongside Maweta Chilenga who struggled in some moments aside from her nice twists
and turns and her involvement in the first goal and the coach was forced to substitute her for Queens Academy Striker Niza Njobvu.
Shelly Masumo who earlier took up the place for the Injured Edah Lungu was unfortunately withdrawn and paved way for Margaret Chisenga that she can help out with marking at the back because Zambia had only remained with two speedy wingers Intelligent Florence Kasonde and the Magnificent Precious Nsama after Dorica Malunga was brought back to defensive works partnering Siamfuko at the heart of defense in making sure they left no stone unturned.
On the other hand, Bantwana came back more organized in the second half and looked like their main target was to quickly grab a goal to unsettle the home team or at least get an away goal.
Captain of the side Jessica Wade kept on pushing for her team but they were just unlucky missing some good chances they had but they did not really trouble Muchahabali in the Zambia goal but she needed the post to come to her aid once after missing a nicely taken strike from Wade.
Nelly Gamede, Yolanda Nduli including
their second-half substitute Thimna Mpehle also had their shots on target saved by Muchahabali who became the busier of the two goalkeepers in the second half.
But after all, was done and dusted The Young Copper Queens emerged as winners edging Bantwana with a comfortable 2-nil victory going into the 2nd leg in a fortnight’s time.
The Return Match will be played in Johannesburg on 14th March 2020 with the overall winner facing either Botswana or Morocco in the next round with Morocco carrying a slender 1-nil advantage going into the return match.
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