Women's Sport: Zambia qualify for Women's Football Olympics for the first time

Zambia women’s national team has qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after defeating Cameroon 4-4 on away goals.

They came into the second leg losing 2-3 on aggregate, but prevailed with a 2-1 home win this time around – Mary Mwakapila and Hellen Mubanga grabbed the decisive goals.

The Copper Queens have never competed in the Women’s Football Olympics before, and have a squad predominately made up of domestic players – bar forwards Misozi Zulu and Barbra Banda.

The squad boasts a youthful look, with the majority of the team aged under 25.

Their journey to Tokyo started in the first round against Angola, Zambia was awarded a walkover and progressed to the second round as their opponents withdrew from the contest.

They then faced Zimbabwe, who they beat 5-0 in the first leg, before their opponents refused to play the second leg due to owed finances – as a result, the Copper Queens were given another walkover.

The third round saw Zambia take on Botswana. They won both legs – 1-0 in the first leg and then 2-0 in the second.

Their semi-final clash saw them meet Kenya where they battled to get a 2-2 draw in the first leg, before beating them 1-0 in the second.

The 2020 Tokyo Women’s Football Olympics will consist of 11 countries, including hosts Japan, and Great Britain – who are made up of players from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Currently, Zambia joins Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, and the United States.

Two teams from the Asian Football Confederation, as well as one from CAF–CONMEBOL play-off will complete the list of countries at the event.

Cameroon will face Chile in the play-off, meaning either two teams from Africa, or two teams from South America will participate in Tokyo.

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