Zambia kick-started their COSAFA Women’s Championship 2021 campaign in emphatic style with a 5-0 win over Eswatini in a Group C match played on Thursday in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Ochumba Lubandji netted a hat-trick to guide Zambia in their first match played at the Madibaz Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay.
She headed in the first after 24 minutes giving Eswatini’s goalkeeper Sukoluhle Agrineth Sibandze no chance.
The Eswatini team tried to close spaces and managed to take the game into half time with a goal down. But the ruthless Zambia team attacked in numbers with Lubandji adding two more goals, while substitute Esther Mukwasa also got her name on the score sheet.
Florence Nkatya, the Zambia’s coach on the day praised her team for starting the tournament on a winning note. “I am happy with the big win and we are here to take this trophy home,” added Nkatya.
Fresh from the Tokyo Olympics in Japan, the Zambian team are one of the favourites to win the title together with reigning champions South Africa. Zambia who finished runners-up in the same tournament in 2019.
In the second game played on Thursday, guest side Uganda Crested Cranes settled for goalless draw against Namibia. The two teams created several scoring chances, but failed to find the net.
The tournament opened on Tuesday with Angola drawing 2-2 against Mozambique, while South Africa beat Malawi 2-1, all in Group A matches. Botswana were in high scoring mood on Wednesday, humbling South Sudan 7-0, while Tanzania also registered a 3-0 victory against Zimbabwe in Group B matches.
Action continues today in Group A with Malawi facing Mozambique, before South Africa take on Angola.
Andrew Jackson ORYADA Snr
In Port Elizabeth, South Africa