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Ireen Lungu’s 2022 – What a year, what a player

Copper Queens midfielder Ireen ‘Xavi’ Lungu has had a dream year so far, arguably her best so far. 

The female Computer has continued to put in impressive shifts for club and country as she keeps setting the bar for creative midfielders. 

The diminutive midfielder put in another masterpiece on Wednesday as Green Buffaloes Women’s Football Club made it three wins in a row. 

Lungu scored a second half treble to guide the Zambia army sponsored outfit to a hard fought 3-0 win over stubborn Bauleni United Sports Academy (BUSA) Queens. 

Lungu put the Charles Haalubono coached side in the lead in the 70th minute heading in a well taken Anita Mulenga’s corner kick beating Memory Namonje and breaking BUSA Queens’ resilience.

Lungu doubled the lead five minutes later as she directed a beautiful cross from Natasha Nanyangwe with a well executed diving header to double the defending Champions’ advantage. 

Lungu completed her hat-trick ten minutes to time as she converted from 12 yards after being brought down in the box. 

Wednesday’s masterclass means Lungu has now scored five goals in the league so far helping the COSAFA Champions to three straight wins. 

The female Computer has had a fantastic year this season from missing the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Champions League Zonal Qualifier part of the 2021/2022 League season and the WAFCON qualifiers to starring in three tournaments. 

Lungu returned in time for a trip to Morocco to play in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations where she was key for the Copper Queens in their best ever performance at a continental showpiece winning bronze

Lungu made a very strong partnership with youngster Evarine Susan Katongo in midfield. Lungu scored a goal in the 4-1 win over Togo. 

In August, Lungu was again at the centre of action as she helped Green Buffaloes Women’s Football Club qualify for the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League. 

Lungu scored five goals to win the golden boot at the 2022 COSAFA Women’s Champions League Zonal Qualifier helping the Zambia army sponsored outfit to book a place at the tournament in Morocco. 

A few weeks later Lungu was on a plane back to South Africa to help the Copper Queens win their first COSAFA Women’s Championship. 

Barbra Banda stole all the headlines as she netted 10 goals to win the golden boot and the the player of the tournament but Lungu was key for the Bruce Mwape coached side. 

With ten days to go, Lungu is expected to be one of coach Haalubono’s most crucial pieces to the puzzle on their hunt for glory and the $400,000 prize money. 

In August coach Charles Haalubono admitted that his team was lucky to have the midfield magician as she is an intelligent player who does not need a lot of coaching.

“Ireen Lungu has been our main player for some time now. Last season we suffered because she had a long injury and now she is back playing very well,” Haalubono told the ZamFoot Crew. 

“She is a girl who you don’t have to coach a lot , she is intelligent and knows what to do with the ball. She is a very sharp general player. I think we are lucky to have her.”

“She is also a utility player, you can play her even on the wings and on top, she is a key player for us,” he added.

The CAF Champions League will kick-off on 30th October 2022 with the final scheduled for 13th November 2022.

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