By MICHAEL MIYOBA
BARELY a day after the senior Zambia national women soccer team thrashed Mauritius 15-0 in their first game at the ongoing 2019 COSAFA women’s championship, the under-20 women’s team has replicated their seniors by humbling eSwatini 4-0.
A brace from striker Maylan Mulenga, a goal from Mary Mambwe and an own goal from Ncedo Gamedze at Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, propelled the junior She-polopolo to the summit of group B with three points.
The young She-polopolo led by coach Charles Halubono outplayed eSwatini from the first whistle with Mulenga breaking the deadlock 15-minutes after kick off.
Mambwe doubled the lead seven minutes later with a beautiful strike which came before Mulenga completed her brace in the dying minutes of the first half as the Junior She-polopolo took a break leading 3-0.
Defender, Gamedze made the game beyond reach for eSwatini in the second half when she directed Maylan Mulenga’s shot into her own net to give Zambia a maiden 4-0 victory which cheered coach Halubono.
Halubono said the triumph gives the junior Chipolopolo the required confidence as they compete at the maiden COSAFA women’s under-20 championships.
“This game has been an eye opener for me as a coach on how the team is able to coordinate and where we need to improve as we compete in this tournament,” Halubono said.
“The players played according to our instructions especially in the first half. In the second half it was about individual play because they stopped coordinating.”
eSwatini coach Friday Myeni attributed his teams’ loss to his key players who missed out on the game because they were suspended.
Myeni said eSwatini will however work on their mistakes as they prepare to take on Tanzania in their second game tomorrow at Gelvandale Stadium.
The loss to Zambia relegated eSwatini to fourth in group B while the Shepolopolo top the group with three points, on par with group B rivals Tanzania who thumped Botswana 2-0 in an early kick off played at the same stadium.
Meanwhile, the senior She-polopolo will seek maximum points when they take on Namibia in today’s group B fixture set for Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth to maintain their superb form after the 15-0 bsshing of Mauritius on Thursday.
A win over Namibia will increase Zambia’s chances of qualifying to the last four of the regional championship which has been dominated by South Africa’s Banyana Banyana who boast of winning five titles from six finals.