The Copper Queens were on their way to victory before they conceded a late penalty that made them share the points
Zambia captain Barbra Banda broke an Olympic record after scoring her second hat-trick as the African nation drew 4-4 against China in a dramatic encounter at the Miyagi Stadium on Saturday.
Banda’s first hat-trick was scored in Zambia’s opening game, the 3-10 defeat against the Netherlands on Wednesday. China lost their opening fixture against Brazil.
In Saturday’s fixture, Wang Shuang scored all China’s four goals while the other goal for Zambia was scored by Rachael Kundananji.
In the opening two minutes, Copper Queens came close to getting an opener, but in the first instance, Banda missed the target from close range before China’s Shimeng Peng stopped Avell Chitundu’s shot in the second instance.
But China recovered and took the lead in the sixth minute when Shuang put them ahead to punish an otherwise adventurous and attacking Zambia. In the eighth minute, Irene Lungu was not clinical enough with his chance to restore parity for the African side.
Bruce Mwape’s side levelled the score in the 15th minute when Kundananji scored, but Shuang restored China’s lead as she grabbed her afternoon’s brace in the 22nd minute. A minute later, Shuang registered a hat-trick when she stretched China’s lead to 3-1 against a stunned Zambia.
In the 37th minute, Mwape made his first change as she brought on Mary Wilombe in place of Martha Tembo. Zambia scored the second goal two minutes before the half-time break, when Banda converted a penalty won when Kundananji was brought down.
Zambia came into the second half rejuvenated and their fighting spirit was rewarded in the 46th minute when Banda – with an assist from hardworking Kundananji – scored to make the score 3-3. Grace Chanda would have scored the fourth, but her 48th-minute close-range effort went high as Zambia looked more determined to go ahead.
Mwepu made a second change in the 62nd minute when she replaced Margaret Belemu with Esther Siamfuko. In the 69th minute, Banda grabbed a hat-trick when she struck the fourth goal for the Copper Queens, and the Zambian forward has now scored six goals in two games.
China won a penalty – after VAR confirmed Lushomo Mweemba had handled the ball – in the 84th minute and it gave them a chance to restore parity through Shuang who scored. China had to face Zambia with fewer players after Li Qingtong was red-carded in the 86th minute.
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