We did it for Barbara – copper queens

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Copper Queens have dedicated Last night’s Victory at the Ongoing Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAfCON) to Barbara Banda.
Banda was left out of the tournament due to gender iligibility cases which sparked debate in the country.
However in a video released by Football Association of Zambia the copper queens were in high spirit in the locker room as they shouted “we did this for Barbara, We won because of Barbara we want her at the world cup.”
And Banda, equally, a morale booster, shouted “I am going to the world cup.”
Meanwhile, Last night was nothing shot of a fairly tale conquest for the Shepolopolo as they won their quarter final match in a nerve wrecking and nail chewing encounter against Senegal.
Mohamed V Complex was set on fire as the crowd erupted with sounds of an earthquake after Hezel Nali converted from the spot to send the copper queens through to the semi finals and clinch a spot at next year’s world cup.
The copper queens fought strengh and muscle against the mighty Senegal team who brought in their big guns, who stood like Goliath to neutralize the power of the David like statured Shepolopolo.
However, through an intense encounter, with both teams not making it any easier for the other, Senegal fell like the wall of Jericho after a strong willed fight as they lost 4 – 2 in a penalty shoot out following a draw in normal play and extra time.
The quarter final match was nothing short of breathtaking as supporters needed to check the rate of their blood pressure consistently after going through the ‘iye, iye!” episodes at every moment the copper queens created a chance on target without seeing any goal from both teams.
After a goaless first half, Senegal broke the deadlock in 60 minutes of play through Nguenar Ndiaye who punished Zambia for leaving her unmarked.
But it only took nine minutes for the copper queens to reply and they poached a goal through Avell Chitundu who took advantage of Senegalese goalkeeper, Tenning Sene’s mishap because she failed to deal with a free kick by Lushomo Mweemba.
This returned the chances of Senegal winning the game to intertia.
After normal play, ‘Abel Chungu’s extra time’ did nothing to separate the two, leaving the world cup and semi finals qualification in the balance, with only shootouts left as tie breakers.
The first Spot Kick was taken by Grace Chanda who nailed the ball to the back of the net like the person in charge of crucifying Jesus.
Senegal wasted their first chance like tomatoes at Soweto market of which Sene compensated by Saving Lushomo Mweemba’s spot kick.
Flashes of the 2012 AfCON final memories in Gabon came to mind, recalling how the Chipolopolo boys won the cup came to as the girls started singing Kalombo mwane.
But the heroics of Nali came through for the copper queens as the shot stopper blocked Senegal’s fourth penalty.
The Senegalese did not expect what would hit them next as Nali stepped up in the courage of David and hit the ball on target like the stone that landed on Goliath’s head to send the crowd wild.
The Zambian ladies have now progressed into the WAfCON semi-final, earning themselves a historic 2023 World Cup qualification.
Moses Makwaya

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