The Copper Queens of Zambia squared off against Costa Rica in their final group game of the FIFA Women's World Cup. It's important to point out that both teams had nothing left to play for; as they had already been eliminated from the tournament after the first two rounds of fixtures. In spite of that, this will be a memorable competition for Copper Queens fans across the World.
🇿🇲 What a moment for Zambia 🇿🇲
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) July 31, 2023
Copper Queens get first ever FIFA Women's World Cup win
It may interest you to know that the Zambia Copper Queens had never played in the FIFA Women's World Cup up until this year. They had held their own against most of their African opponents, having won the COSAFA Cup last year.
However, Bruce Mwape's girls were out of their element in their World Cup opener; as they fell to Japan by a humiliating 5-0 scoreline. On top of that, the Copper Queens had to do without first choice goalkeeper Catherine Musonda, who was sent off due to a bad tackle a few minutes before the final whistle. Sure enough, fortunes didn't improve without their shot-stopper, as Zambia suffered another 5-0 loss to Spain in their second group match.
At this point, Bruce Mwape's girls had no goals at the FIFA Women's World Cup; they had also conceded more goals than every other team. However, the Copper Queens found their stride in their third match; as Lushomo Mweemba opened the scoring just three minutes after kick-off, registering Zambia's first ever FIFA Women's World Cup goal.
The Copper Queens prevailed in their final match, with a 3-1 victory over their Central American opponents. With that in mind, Zambia have their first ever Women's World Cup win. Although at the time of writing, they've conceded the highest number of goals in this tournament.
Costa Rica 1-3 Zambia
(Melissa Herrera |Lushomo Mweemba 2', Barbra Banda 30' Pen, Rachel Kundananji 90+3')
Our first ever win at World Cup 😊 pic.twitter.com/iFlmqAmUcr
— Zambia WNT (@Copper_Queens) July 31, 2023
Barbra Banda scores 1000th Women's World Cup goal
Interestingly, a first win at the FIFA Women's World Cup isn't the first thing that Copper Queens fans will be grateful for; as captain Barbra Banda scored the 1000th goal in Women's World Cup history. This comes 45 years after Rob Rensenbrink scored the 1000th goal at the Men's World Cup. The Zambian captain was the star in Monday's game, registering a goal and assist.
— FAZ (@FAZFootball) July 31, 2023
What this result means for the Copper Queens
To be fair, both teams had already been eliminated from this tournament after the first two rounds of fixtures. However, with the Copper Queens' victory over Costa Rica, they get to leapfrog their opponents into third-place. On the other hand, Costa Rica now find themselves in last-place, with no points, and just one goal scored.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago