Shepolopolo Zambia endured a forgettable Olympic debut on Wednesday after they were crushed 10-3 by The Netherlands in their opening Group F match at Miyagi Stadium in Rifu.
Shepolopolo captain Barbara Banda stood out for Zambia with a hat-trick against the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup runners-up and 2017 European champions.
Vivianne Miedema scored four goals, three coming in the first half in 9th, 15th and 38th minutes before wrapping up her day in the 59th minute.
Banda struck her first for Zambia in the 19th minute with the score line at 3-1.
Lieke Martens struck twice for the Dutch in the 14th and 38th while Shanice Van de Sanden made it six-one in the 44th minute.
The Dutch further punished Shepolopolo’s leaky backline with goals by Jamie Roord, Lineth Beerensteyn, and Victoria Pelova in the 64th, 75th and 80th minutes respectively.
However, Banda led by example with two quick late goals in the 82nd and 83rd minutes to become the first female Zambian player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics.
She also equaled Kalusha Bwalya’s hat-trick feat at the Seoul 1988 Olympics in Zambia’s 4-0 win over Italy.
Meanwhile, Shepolopolo are bottom of Group F on zero points with their opponents this Saturday China who lost 5-0 to Brazil who are second on goal difference behind leaders Holland.