Shepolopolo suffered Olympic heartbreak on Tuesday when a resolute ten-man Zambia lost 1-0 to Brazil in their final Group F match in Saitama.
The result saw Shepolopolo fail to attain the 4 points they needed to stand a chance of earning one of the two best third place quarterfinal berths in the twelve-team, three-group Olympic women’s football competition.
Shepolopolo suffered two setbacks in the 13th minute of the match when a red card and injury dented their game plan.
Defender Lushomo Mweemba was sent off for a foul on goal-bound Brazilian striker Ludmila.
Ludmila’s momentum then left goalkeeper Hazel Nali injured in the subsequent duel for the ball.
Play resumed in the 19th minute when coach Bruce Mwape made some tactical changes starting with Ngambo Musole replacing Nali while defender Vast Phiri came on for forward Avell Chitundu.
But Musole’s immediate task after replacing Nali was to collect the ball from the back of her net on the restart in the 19th minute when Andressa blasted-in a rocketing free-kick.
Brazil then found it hard to penetrate a solid Shepolopolo who collectively defended for the remaining 90 minutes producing a catenaccio display that would have left an enthusiast of the Italian game impressed.
Shepolopolo exit the Olympics on 1 point in Group F in third place, six points behind Brazil and Holland who advanced to the quarterfinals on 7 points.
China bowed out bottom on 1 point after an 8-2 loss to Holland.