Zambia 2-1 Cameroon [4-4]: Copper Queens qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The South Africans will be making their first ever appearance at the global sporting showpiece after a home win

Zambia have qualified for the 2020 Women’s Olympic Games billed for Tokyo after clinching the sole automatic ticket from Africa.

Bruce Mwape’s ladies defeated Cameroon 2-1 in their second leg of the final round encounter of the African Women’s Olympic qualifiers to book their spot on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

In the first leg in Yaounde, the Indomitable Lionesses earned a 3-2 comeback win when Aboudi Onguene’s brace along with Ajara Nchout’s strike subdued the visitors after Grace Chanda’s double.

With two away goals to fall back on, the Copper Queens made a bright start to the contest and found an early breakthrough when Mary Mwakapila opened the scoring for the hosts in the 15th minute.

Barbara Banda breezed past her marker from the left wing to brilliantly set up Hellen Mubanga, who tapped in the second from close range to make it 2-0 seconds prior to the half-time break.

Alain Djeumba’s side made a positive start after the restart through Nchout and Onguene, but the hosts stood firm until the Valerenga star pulled one back on the day in injury time.

Despite being reduced to 10 women after Martha Tembo’s late dismissal, the hosts held on to make history against the Central African giants.

The result means Zambia became the third South African nation to qualify for the international summer games after South Africa (2012 and 2016) and Zimbabwe (2016).

 

The 2019 Cosafa Women’s Cup runners-up also became the second nation from the Cosafa region to beat the Indomitable Lionesses in the final stage of Olympic qualifiers after Zimbabwe in 2015.

Zambia also became the fifth African nation to qualify for the Summer Women’s Olympics after Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

After missing an automatic slot, Cameroon will hope to make a return to the Olympics since their debut in 2012 when they face the South American side Chile in the playoff next month.

The Lionesses will host the 2018 Copa America Women’s Cup runners-up in the first leg in Yaounde on April 9 before travelling to face Jose Letelier’s team in the second leg on April 15.