By MICHAEL MIYOBA
COPPER Queens striker Barbra Banda has rewritten history by becoming the first Zambian female footballer to score a hat trick at the Olympic Games following Zambia’s 10-3 thumping by The Netherlands in the first group F fixture played yesterday at Miyagi stadium in Japan.
Banda showed a lot of determination and scored Zambia’s only goal in the first half before scoring a brace in the second half to complete her hat-trick as Zambia recorded an embarrassing defeat.
The Copper Queens looked composed in the early minutes of the game and almost went ahead in the second minute but were unlucky as left back Margaret Belemu sent her shot over the bar.
The Copper Queens were punished in the ninth minute when Viviane Miedema opened the floodgates for The Netherlands after benefitting from a mistake by goalkeeper Hazel Nali who came out and failed to clear the ball as Miedema ran at full speed to slot the ball behind the net.
The Netherlands enjoyed good play and doubled their advantage two minutes later through Martens Lieka who pounced on a rebound to make it 2-0.
The European champions were 3-0 up by the 15th minute mark when Miedema finished with a lobbed shot in front of Nali, who was left alone in front of the goal.
Banda pulled one goal back for Zambia in the 19th minute after benefitting from a good long pass from Ireen Lungu before beating the Dutch goalkeeper to score in an empty net.
Grace Chanda came close to putting her name on the score sheet after she hit a long range shot and hit the cross bar in the 26th minute before The Netherlands added their fourth on the half-hour mark through Miedema who benefitted from a cross from Van de Donk to complete her hat-trick.
The Dutch’s Martens completed her brace in the dying minutes of the first half. The striker received a delayed pass and unleashed a powerful right-footed shot from outside the box.
The Dutch run riot and scored their sixth before the halftime whistle through Van de Sanden who was a beneficiary of an extraordinary pass from Jamie Roord as the first half ended 6-1.
The Dutch dropped their guard in the second half but continued to dominate play and scored their seventh goal through Van de Donk, who headed the ball to Miedema and the striker scored her fourth goal of the night before Roord made it eight for the Dutch in the 64th minute.
Substitutes Beerensteyn Lineth and Victoria Pelova escalated the scoreline to 10-1 after scoring in the 75th and 80th minute respectively.
Banda took things personal in the last 10 minutes of the games and scored two goals in two minutes.
The former Green Buffaloes player beat the goalkeeper with a spectacular feint and scored at the near post before being shielded off the pitch by a defender.
Banda completed her hat trick in the 83rd minute after she recovered the ball from Nouwen’s misplaced run-out and cut inside the box to score Zambia’s third goal to enter the history books as the first African female footballer to score a hat trick at the Olympics.
Banda joins Zambian football icon Kalusha Bwalya who is the first and only Zambian player to score a hat trick at the Olympics after he scored three goals in Zambia’s historical 4-0 beteating of Italy at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Korea exactly 33 years ago.
Women’s Olympic football results
Great Britain 2-0 Chile
Zambia 3-10 Netherlands
China 0-5 Brazil
Sweden 3-0 USA
Japan 1-1 Canada
Australia 2-1 New Zealand