ZAMBIA women soccer team yesterday recorded a barren draw against South Africa in a Papua New Guinea 2016 Under-20 World Cup second round first leg qualifier played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
The Young Shepolopolo started the first 10 minutes of the game on a jittery note with poor passes in midfield. However, Zambia upped the tempo of the game and could have opened the score line in the 16th minute but Grace Chanda’s goal from inside the box was disallowed by referee Letticia Viana for pushing defender Tilsetso Makhubela.
The Young Shepolopolo could have again found the back of the net in the 23rd minute but Chanda’s shot was cleared on the line by Chamelle Wiltshire.
In the 29th minute South Africa’s Linda Motlhalo sent a scare but Zambia ‘s goalkeeper Hazel Nali was equal to the task. Zambia dominated the second half, outplaying South Africa, but wasted golden opportunities.
Zambia’s coach Osward Mutapa substituted Rodha Chileshe and Melan Mulenga for Hellen Chanda and Agness Musase who brought life to the game.
In the 56th minute Chanda’s header went wide after benefiting from Barbara Banda’s cross.
Zambia continued to press for a goal but Chanda and Banda could not convert the chances. Chanda was substituted for Maclean Daka after exhibiting signs of tiredness. But still Zambia could not get the goal despite displaying impressive football.
Mutapa said it was unfortunate that the girls could not convert the several chances. He expressed confidence that his lasses will qualify to the next round.
South Africa will host Zambia in the second leg two weeks from now. Zambia only needs a draw to qualify to the final round where they are expected to meet Nigeria.