Shepolopolo recorded an emphatic 5-0 home victory over Zimbabwe on Wednesday at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka to make a bright start to their 2020 Tokyo Olympics Women’s Football tournament qualifiers.
A Grace Chanda hat-trick handed Shepolopolo an important second round , first leg home victory as the race on the long road in the battle for that one and a half tickets to Tokyo gathers full steam following the entry at this stage of the big guns who enjoyed first round byes.
Meanwhile, Shepolopolo and Zimbabwe went into the break scoreless but it was not without drama.
Chanda’s 18th minute goal was cancelled after she struck an indirect free kick straight into Zimbabwe’s net and eleven minutes later, Emmaculate Msipa’s goal for the visitors was ruled out for offside.
Then dead on 45 minutes, Shepolopolo striker Rachel Kundananji saw her shot cleared off the line by Zimbabwe goalkeeper Lindiwe Magawede.
The goals then started raining five minutes after the restart when Misozi Zulu put Shepolopolo ahead in 50th minute and Chanda added coach Bruce Mwape’s sides’ second in the 73rd minute.
Chanda completed her hat-trick in the 79th and 85th minutes while Kundananji wrapped-up the rout in the 89th minute.
The two sides meet in the final leg on September 1 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare to decide who goes through to face Botswana or South Africa in the next round.