Soccer

Zambia’s match-winner Nachula reflects on Chile win | Goal.com


The Zaragoza striker was left a happy lady after her header helped the Copper Queens to a historic triumph over the Chileans

Zambia star Rachael Nachula has revealed that the desire to make their country proud inspired Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Chile.

Before Saturday’s first match of their international friendlies against La Roja, the Copper Queens were smarting from their title miss at the 2020 Cosafa Women’s Cup in South Africa, where they settled for bronze earlier this month.

Second-half goals from Barbara Banda and Nachula helped the Copper Queens come from a goal down to condemn the South Americans to the first defeat against an African team, in Santiago.

And the striker, who returned to the national fold for the first time since helping the team to qualify for the Olympic Games in March, believes the win over the South Americans was a huge morale boost.

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“It’s a good win for us. We came with an ambition to make Zambians proud against Chile,” Nachula told Goal.

“Everyone felt there are a lot of players back to the team, who did not play at the Cosafa Cup and were expecting a lot from us. 

“We did not underrate them [Chile] because we never met them before. We just told ourselves before the match to go all out and prove our worth as we know competing at the Olympic is not a child’s play. And we did it. 

“I am happy and the whole team are very proud of what we achieved on the pitch. We are very excited to have started our preparation for the Olympic very well, especially for some of us that were not part of the Cosafa tournament. 

“We are done with this game and will not for any reason get carried away by the victory because it’s already in the past. Although we won, there are many areas we made mistakes which we will do well to correct before Tuesday’s match.”

The ex-sprinter has continued to silence her doubters since dumping athletics for football despite enjoying huge success on the track, including an Olympic Games appearance at Beijing 2008.

In 2019, she inspired the Copper Queens to a first-ever final appearance at the Cosafa Cup, scoring 10 goals to claim the golden boot and the feat earned her a first professional contract at Zaragoza.

Despite scoring twice in four competitive games for her Spanish outfit this season, the 34-year-old has opened up on the significance of her match-winning header against Chile.

“I am really very excited about our victory and more importantly It was the first goal I will score with my head in 2020,” she added.

“It has been a huge year for me. I helped the country to the Olympics and also got the deal with Zaragoza. Scoring with my head against Chile was a big deal for me. 

“I have to thank [Barbara] Banda for the giving such a good cross and my teammates for providing me with such huge support always. I hope to continue to give my best always.”

After the win, Nachula aims to help Bruce Nwape’s team do a double against the South Americans in the second leg on December 1.

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