Telling empowering stories, South Africans want to hear

Wednesday, 21 July 2021 18:55

Netherlands routs Zambia 10-3 in Olympic women’s soccer.

Staff Reporter.


Zambia women's football team had an Olympic debut they will never forget - for good and bad reasons - as they faced European champions the Netherlands.

Despite conceding 10 goals against the 2019 World Cup runners-up, the world's 104th-ranked side had plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

Captain Barbra Banda made history for the Copper Queens, scoring her country's first ever women's goal at an Olympics.

The 21-year-old striker, who has also been a professional boxer, went on to score a hat-trick, becoming the first female African player to score three goals at a Games.

Zambia upset the odds to become Africa's sole representative in Tokyo, defeating 2019 Women's World Cup qualifiers Cameroon in a play-off to take the sought-after slot, above even the might of Africa's record nine-time champions Nigeria.

They were huge underdogs against the Netherlands - a side 100 places higher in the world rankings - and the star-studded Dutch, managed by future England boss Sarina Wiegman, were too much for them.

Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema scored four times for the Netherlands, who were also making their debut as they set a new record for the most goals scored by one team in an Olympic game.

Meanwhile Great Britain started their Olympic campaign successfully as the women's football side beat Chile comfortably in an empty stadium in Sapporo, Japan.

Manchester City striker Ellen White scored either side of the break to put GB in the driving seat in Group E.

City team-mate Lauren Hemp, who was impressive throughout, kept the ball in play at the back post for White to poke in the opener after 18 minutes.

Defender Lucy Bronze then flicked it past the defender and picked out White, whose acrobatic overhead kick made it 2-0 later in the second half.

Hege Riise's side dominated possession and created a host of chances - White could have had a hat-trick had she not been offside when she stabbed in the rebound from Georgia Stanway's strike early on.

GB top the group before hosts' Japan's opening game against Canada (11:30 BST kick-off).

The women's football tournament has started two days prior to the opening ceremony in Tokyo, while Team GB's players are the first of a 376-strong team to represent the nation.