The 11th edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) is well under way with Zambia standing head and shoulders above every other team in the tournament.
In Group A, the hosts, Ghana began their campaign with a narrow victory over Algeria; thanks to an early strike from Gladys Amfobea.
From then on, the Ghanaians tried to build on that goal but the Algerians stood up to be counted and tried to get back into the game but the hosts held on for an important victory in their opening game.
The second game of the day saw last edition’s host, Cameroon complete a perfect comeback against the Malians who went ahead in the 56th minute through a well taken goal from Aissata Traore.
However, 15 mins later (71st minute) the Lionesses responded through Meffometou Tcheno to make it 1-1, before Ajara Nchout added a second two minutes later to make it 2-1 in favour of the indomitable Lionesses.
Group however took an interesting shape after the first round of matches with the reigning champions and two time champions both losing their opening games.
First, it was the Super Falcons of Nigeria who were stunned by a beautiful volley late into the game as Banyana Banyana held on for an important victory in a tough group.
Then came the tsunami in the game between the Shepolopolo of Zambia and Equatorial Guinea who were reinstated less than 10 days to the start of the tournament.
The very athletic and agile young Zambian team started like a house on fire putting two past the Guineans in the first half before capping it off with three more goals to hand the two time champions a 5-0 defeat in their opening game.
The most amazing thing about the five star performance of Zambia is the fact that the star girl and captain of the side, Barbara Banda started the game from the bench while her team mates wrecked havoc on the pitch. And truth be told, it could have been more for the Shepolopolo of Zambia who were on rampage on Sunday night.
The second round of matches will commence on Tuesday and it promises to get even better especially as the losing teams try to kick start their AWCON 2018 campaign.