Zambian women’s national team captain Barbra Banda continued to make a name for herself on the world stage, with another sublime performance for her side at the Olympics in Tokyo.
After netting a hat-trick in the 10-3 defeat to the Netherlands on Wednesday, 21 July, Banda netted another three goals in the 4-4 draw with China PR at Miyagi Stadium on Saturday, 24 July. It takes her tally of goals at the Olympics to six goals and she has now equaled Christine Sinclair’s record set of the most goals scored in a single Olympics on debut.
Zambia were not deterred after their opening match defeat to the Netherlands during the week, as they put up another brave performance to register their first ever point at the Olympics.
China opened the scoring through Wang Shuang in the sixth minute, but Zambia needed just nine minutes to get back on level terms. Racheal Kundananji scored her first ever goal at the Olympics to level matters for the Africans.
Shuang was a threat for the Zambians as she scored her second and third goals in the 22nd and 23rd minute, giving China a 3-1 lead.
Before halftime, however, Banda reduced the deficit to make it 3-2 and a minute after the break, she made it 3-3 as she completed her brace.
Zambia took the lead for the first time in the match when Banda scored her third goal in the 69th minute.
Just as it looked like Zambia would hold out for their first ever victory at the Olympics, China scored in the last six minutes of the game as the two countries shared a point apiece.
Zambia are bottom of group F after two matches and play against Brazil in their final game on Tuesday, 27 July.
It will be a tough game against one of the tournament favourites.