17 December 2012

Zambia/Zimbabwe: Junior She-Polopolo Win Gold

ZAMBIA Under-20 women soccer team yesterday struck a historic gold medal at the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone Six Youth Games after dethroning champions, Zimbabwe in a highly competitive final match in Lusaka as the boys' under-17 squad settled for silver.

The young she-polopolo, who were full of promise from start, put up a wonderful display with Hellen Mubanga's first half brace winning the Zambian lasses a gold medal at the 2012 SCSA Zone Six Games which ended yesterday.

Albert Kachinga's team took the lead on 11 minutes when Mubanga pounced on a lose ball after a Zimbabwean defender failed to clear her line before scoring.

Six minutes later, Mubanga was at it again, this time she finished off a Misozi Chisha rebound to send the packed stadium into a frenzy.

The youthful team could have won the game by a wider margin had it not been for the many wasted goal-scoring opportunities.

Zimbabwe, in the second half, showed some signs of improvement and poured forward in numbers but the Zambian rearguard led by defender Lwendo Chisamu thwarted the raids.

The Zimbabweans crafted a goal opportunity but Nyasha Munemo shot wildly when scoring seemed an easier option.

Zambia could have grabbed the third goal but Nchawaka Saili, who slipped through the Zimbabwean defence, shot wide.

And speaking in an interview after the match, Kachinga said it was a good feeling that his team won a gold medal for the first time and pledged to work even harder and give more international exposure to his budding players.

He said the team had its own mistakes at the Zone Six Games but improved each day they played different teams.

Kachinga said after losing to Zimbabwe in the preliminary stages of the competition, the technical bench worked on mistakes as evidenced in yesterday's match.

He said the technical bench would maintain the team and continue nurturing it to ensure the squad was able to compete in major international tournaments.

"It feels good to win a gold medal for the first time, the girls played well and they knew what they were doing I am proud of the players," Kachinga said.

But Zimbabwean coach, Sithethelewe Sibanda shockingly, said the game against Zambia was the easiest of all the matches the team had played in the competition.

She said the team started the game on a low note and that Zambia capitalised on the laxity and took a 2-0 first half advantage.

Sibanda, however, said her team could have prevented the two goals the She-polopolo scored in the first half.

She said coming out second in the tournament was a good achievement and that it could have been more painful had Zimbabwe failed to mint any medal in the tournament.

"This is not what we expected, we did not expect to lose since we had come this far, but winning a silver is an achievement. It would have been bad if we had come out without a medal.

"This game was the easiest game we had from the start of the tournament, they started on a low note, and we allowed two early goals and the Zambian team defended well its two-goal lead," Sibanda said.

Zambia 2 Zimbabwe 0 -

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