Zambia shattered Bantwana’s high hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in Costa Rica next year, with a stunning 3-1 win over their opponents at Bidvest Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The shock victory for the visitors completed a 6-4 aggregate win for the Zambians, who looked in control for most of the proceedings, while local coach Sheryl Botes’ girls looked short of ideas, and were bullied off the ball in 50-50 situations.
The visitors were off the blocks early, but the home side failed to heed the warning signs. Zambia duly took the lead midway through the first half, when Bantwana defence failed to clear their lines, allowing Zambia’s striker to nod the ball home.
With everyone expecting an immediate positive response from the home side, it was Zambia who continued to dominate.
The home team however, got the lifeline on the 43rd minute when they were awarded a penalty which was dispatched home by Gabriela Salgado. The goal gave the homes supporters some whiff of hope, but that was soon dashed when Zambia’s Janny Mubanga made it 2-1 early in the second half – again Juliet Sithole in goals for Bantwana guilty of some indecisiveness.
The goal seem to take the fighting off Bantwana, who looked out of sorts for the rest of the game despite Zambia having been reduced to 10, when Given Mukanda was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Instead of pouring upfront searching for the equaliser, Bantwana were always outnumbered in the box.
Zambia finally put the matter beyond doubt when Chamelle Wiltshire was adjudged to have handled in the box. The Angolan official gave Wiltshire, who was looking porous at the back, a second yellow card meaning both teams finished the game with 10 players each.
From the resultant penalty, Zambia made it 3-1 to silence the home side. “We played badly especially at the back and we conceded, again some very soft goals,” said a despondent Bantwana coach Botes.
(With editing by gsport)