Zambia ended their exhilarating Women’s World Cup debut on a historic high note by defeating Costa Rica 3-1 to clinch their first ever tournament victory.
Despite exiting at the group stage after losses to Spain and Japan, the Copper Queens finished their campaign in style against the Central Americans on Monday at the compettion in Australia and New Zealand.
The breakthrough arrived early when Lushomo Mweemba looped home a corner to score Zambia’s inaugural World Cup goal after just three minutes.
Captain Barbra Banda then etched her name into the history books by dispatching a penalty to register her name in the competition’s 1000th ever goal.
Banda’s converted penalty kick not only helped to secure Zambia’s triumph but also marked the significant milestone of being the 1,000th goal scored in the illustrious history of the Women’s World Cup.
Although Melissa Herrera pegged one back for Costa Rica after the interval, Zambia stood firm to protect their advantage.
Late substitute Rachael Kundananji eventually put the result beyond doubt by slotting home calmly in stoppage time to make it 3-1.
The final whistle sparked celebrations among players and fans alike at Zambia capping their courageous global debut with a famous win.
In recognition of her pivotal role in Zambia’s historic win, captain Banda was deservedly named the Player of the Match, solidifying her status as a talismanic figure for her nation.
For Costa Rica, defeat condemned them to the bottom of Group C without a single point to show for their efforts.
But Copper Queens coach Bruce Mwape will be delighted at his history-makers announcing themselves on the world stage in style against the odds.