Thursday, May 30, 2024

Zambia Women Dramatically Join Nigeria In Winning Olympic Spots

Zambia and Nigeria locked up the last two spots in the women’s soccer tournament at the Paris Olympics on Tuesday after winning two-legged playoffs in the fourth round of African qualifying.

Zambia needed extra time to get past Morocco in Rabat as the Copper Queens turned a 2-1 first leg deficit into a 3-2 aggregate triumph with a 2-0 win at Moulay Hassan Stadium.

Captain and Orlando Pride striker Barbra Banda opened the scoring for Zambia in the 38th minute and secured the ticket to the Olympics when she converted a penalty in the 105th minute.

The Zambians will be in a tough Group B in France along with former champions the United States and Germany as well as World Cup semi-finalists Australia. They open their campaign against the Americans in Nice on July 25.

Nigeria had an easier passage to their fourth Olympics, drawing 0-0 with South Africa in Pretoria on Tuesday to secure their berth by courtesy of a 1-0 win Abuja last week.

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