The Zambia U17 women’s national team thrashed Tanzania in the first leg of the 2024 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers at Lusaka’s Nkoloma Stadium on Saturday.
The Copper Princesses made their intentions obvious from the start, with Bwalya Chileshe in a prime position to put her team ahead until the second assistant referee called her offside. Five minutes later, Tanzania’s Asha Ramadhani had a chance to put the visitors ahead after hazardous defending by the Zambians but was denied by goalkeeper Mwila Mufunte.
Zambia continued to press and dominate possession, and in the 23rd minute, Saliya Mwanza scored on a Mercy Chipasula rebound to make it 1-0 for the Copper Princesses. Four minutes later, captain Zangose Zulu made it 2-0 with a beautiful finish.
The Copper Princesses continued to dominate the majority of the first half, and it paid off when Chileshe capitalized on Tanzania’s defensive woes to launch a fantastic run into the penalty box, making a deadly turn that allowed the unmarked Zangose to pounce on the loose ball and make it 3-0.
In the second half, Tanzania appeared to have sorted out their game, dominating possession for the first 20 minutes but failing to find a consolation goal. Zambia didn’t stop scoring as they launched another attack in the 77th minute, with Chileshe, who had previously assisted, making it four-nil after being set up by Chipasula, who beat two defenders and cut it inside for her to finish.
Just when everyone thought the Copper Queens were done with the withdrawal of influential captain Zangose, Ruth Muwowo, who was introduced in the last minutes of the game, scored the fifth goal in the 90th minute to secure Zambia’s first-leg victory.
- More reporting by Bola News.