By Mutakila Mukunsa
In the midst of lackluster results courtesy of the Chipolopolo, the copper queens performances have been a bedrock of joy for most soccer fanatics in Zambia.
The Copper queens exploits at the Tokyo Olympics didn’t entirely go according to plan but there is no doubt that the name Barbra Banda was engraved in the history books as she delivered a humdinger performance.
In the end, the Dutch beat the copper queens 10-3 while China drew with the girls 4-4 before Brazil narrowly won 1-0 but there was hope that something could be built on.
Obviously their performance cannot match the men’s team at the Seoul Olympics back in 1988 when Great Kalu and company beat Italy and Guatemala by 4 goals to nil each, drew 2-all against Iraq before West Germany ended the party for Zambians as they were hammered 4-0, a case of do unto others as you want them to do unto you.
But their compaign was good enough to earn the team honours from Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda during an investiture ceremony.
However, With Olympic record breaker Barbra Banda now ruled out of the tournament due medical reasons, the first African woman to score two hatricks in a single Olympics tournament , whose presence on the field of play would most certainly ignite fear in the opposition’s defense, the copper queens will have to face Cameroon without her.
There is no doubt that the ladies will be eager to start off their WAFCON campaign on a good note against Cameroon despite missing some of their key players which include SD Eibar Striker Racheal Kundananji, Nachula , to mention a few.
Like they say, in football your teammates misfortunes could be a perfect opportunity for you as a player to step up. This could be a chance for young and other members of the team like Kazakhstan based striker Grace Chanda who has always been under the shadow of Barbara Banda to make a strong impression at the biggest football stage on the continent.
The last time the copper queens played against the indomitable lionesses of Cameroon , they were victorious and booked a place at the Tokyo Olympics a thing which the Cameroonians will look to revenge tonight as they were denied qualification to the Multi sports global tournament.
Meanwhile, Zambian coach Bruce Mwape told the press yesterday that his team has what it takes to beat Cameroon especially that they have don it before in the past.
Mwape is confident that the players available for selection will deliver and kick off Zambia’s WAFCON campaign on a positive note.