After their humiliating 5-0 loss to Japan in their FIFA Women's World Cup opener, the Copper Queens of Zambia squared off against Spain on Wednesday morning. This was a do-or-die affair for Zambia; as any other result besides a win would potentially eliminate them from the competition.
FT: Spain 🇪🇸 5—0 🇿🇲 Zambia
The Copper Queens have been eliminated. Spain and Japan are through to the knockout stage.
Come back stronger girls. We are proud of you. 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/EyGiarKC0d
— Calvin- The Zambian Sports Journo (@CalvinChikenge) July 26, 2023
Unsurprisingly, the Copper Queens came into this match as heavy underdogs; and although they weren't expected to defeat the Spaniards, Bruce Mwape's girls were expected to put up a better fight than they did against Japan. That wasn't the case however, as Zambia conceded five unreplied goals for the second time in this tournament.
Copper Queens suffer second consecutive 5-0 loss
To be fair, the Copper Queens of Zambia did improve on one aspect of their game. Bruce Mwape's girls had not been able to register a single shot in their opening match against Japan. However, they managed 10 total shots this time, with two of those going on target. In spite of this, the Copper Queens were unable to find the back of the net.
It's important to point out that Zambia had to do without their first choice goalkeeper; after Catherine Musonda was booked twice in their FIFA Women's World Cup opener. Eunice Sakala replaced Musonda on the starting lineup; and although she made eight fine saves, the 21 year old couldn't keep all the goals out.
While the Copper Queens held their own against Japan for over 40 minutes in their opening group game, they conceded twice in the first 15 minutes of their encounter with Spain. Despite their best efforts, Zambia saw their defense breached five times on Wednesday. Jennifer Hermoso bagged a brace and an assist for Jorge Vilda's girls. The Former Barcelona striker has now scored 50 career goals for Spain.
— Squawka (@Squawka) July 26, 2023
What this result means for the Copper Queens
With Wednesday's loss in mind, the Copper Queens have officially been eliminated from the FIFA Women's World Cup. They are currently at the bottom of the Group C table, with zero points and a -10 goal difference. On the other hand, the Spaniards have secured a place in the knockout stages of this competition; as they are leading the group standings with six points. Spain are closely followed by Japan who also have six points, while third-placed Costa Rica have no points.
We have been eliminated, Japan and Spain qualifies to the round of 16.
Tough luck to the copper Queens 🇿🇲🇿🇲🇿🇲🇿🇲 pic.twitter.com/enNq9jcCto
— MUKUBA BOY (@mwenya_eric) July 26, 2023
Although the Zambia Copper Queens will not play in the round of 16, they have a chance to get some consolation points against Costa Rica in their final group game. The Costa Ricans have been almost as terrible, except they've conceded fewer goals.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago