President HH encourages Copper Queens as Japan break Zambian hearts


Bally encourages Copper Queens as Japan break Zambian hearts

ZAMBIANS hoping to see Copper Queens register a record first victory at the FIFA Women’s World Cup this morning ended up with broken hearts as Japan ran riot and handed the Barbra Banda-captained side a 5-0 bashing.

Zambia’s defeat at the feet of the 2011 World champions is the heaviest at the the ongoing tournament so far.

Without the Video Assistant Referee and some cancelled decions against Japan, the defeat could have been worse.

But President Hakainde Hichilema has encouraged the Copper Queens to look beyond the defeat and focus on the next games against the rest of Group C opponents, Spain and Costa Rica.

“Hard luck girls. There are two more games to go. Focus on those,” wrote President Hichilema on his Facebook page.

Japan dominated the game, leaving Zambia’s goalkeeper, Catherine Musonda, to contend with their offence at the FMG Stadium in Waikato, New Zealand today.

Musonda quickly proved to be the star of the show, making a spectacular save to deny Tanaka Mina’s close-range finish early in the game and kept the scoreline level at 0-0 during the opening minutes.

However, the deadlock was broken in the 43rd minute when Japan’s Miyazawa Hinata found the back of the net after a well-executed cross from Fujino Aoba, heading into the halftime break 0-1.

The second half saw Japan asserting their dominance, with Tanaka Mina adding to their lead in the 55th minute and Hinata netted her second goal of the match in the 61st minute, further extending Japan’s lead to 3-0.

In the final moments of the match, Endo Jun found the back of the net in the 71st minute, taking the scoreline to 4-0 in Japan’s favor.

As the match approached its closing stages, Zambia found themselves in deeper trouble when Catherine Musonda received her second yellow card, resulting in a red card and a subsequent expulsion from the field.

To add to Zambia’s misery, Japan was awarded a penalty, and Ueki Riko converted it successfully, sealing Japan’s commanding 5-0 victory over Zambia

Zambia’s focus will now shift to their next match against Spain, which is scheduled for Wednesday July 26, at 09:30 hours.

On the same day, Group C leaders Japan will face Costa Rica, looking to continue their impressive form in the tournament.

By Moses Makwaya



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