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Banda sets records during 13 goal thriller

Zambia's Barbra Banda sets multiple records despite heavy loss to the Netherlands

July 21, 2021 By Michelle Bonsu
Although the debutants suffered a true baptism by fire as they were crushed by the Netherlands, it was still a day to remember for striker Barbra Banda.

The women's football tournament at the 2020 Olympic Games has now gotten underway, and so far it certainly hasn't disappointed.

There were goals galore, with Japan's one-all draw with Canada being the lowest scoring match. In fact, all the four other games saw at least three goals, and two of them registered five goals or more.

The highlight, however, had to be the 13 - yes, thirteen - goal thriller between two teams making their debut in this competition: Zambia and the Netherlands. One probably has an idea which team were on the winning side, but what made this game notable was the number of records set. That's hardly a shock, as any high-scoring match does tend to shatter or establish records, and fans of women's football didn't have to wait too long to see that happen early on at the Olympics.

Zambia captain Barbra Banda, who plays her club football for Shanghai Shengli, probably wasn't a name that many football followers knew off the top of their heads. But after today's display, the 21-year-old has definitely garnered more attention.

Despite Zambia going 3-0 down in the first 15 minutes as the Netherlands raced to an early lead, Banda led by example, scoring her first goal to at least cut the deficit to two goals. The Lionesses were ruthless, however, and scored three more goals to widen their lead to 6-1 before half-time.

And they weren't done just yet. The 2019 World Cup runners-up decided to pile on more misery for the struggling Copper Queens by scoring four more times in the second half and then decided to relax a bit.

It came back to haunt them as the determined Zambia, led by Banda, pulled two more goals back in the 82nd and 83rd minutes. While it wasn't enough to prevent the African side from slumping to a 10-3 loss, which is their heaviest defeat in national history, Banda set multiple records in the process.

These include:

- Becoming the first Zambian to score in the Olympic women's football tournament.

- Becoming the first Zambian to score a hat-trick at the Olympics.

- Become the first African to net a treble in the Olympics.

- Becoming the top women's goal-scorer from the continent of Africa. Prior to this, Nigerian duo Mercy Akide and Perpetua Nkwocha held this record with two goals each.

Zambia will next face China in three days, and many of the Chinese players will be familiar with Banda as she plies her trade in that country. Will she add more goals to her tally? One certainly shouldn't bet against it!


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