11 March 2020 – Zambia draw 4-4 with Cameroon to book Tokyo 2020 ticket on away goals
Copper Queens are headed to their maiden Women’s Olympic Football Tournament
Cameroon still have a chance to qualify via intercontinental play-off against Chile
Zambia will be representing Africa at the Women’s Olympic Football Tokyo 2020 for the first time after drawing 4-4 with Cameroon in the fifth and final round of the continent’s qualifiers, advancing on the away goals rule.
Grace Chanda’s brace for the Copper Queens in the first leg in Yaounde on Tuesday proved to be decisive as they clinched the only direct qualification ticket for CAF to Tokyo 2020.
The result represents a watershed moment for Zambian women’s football (106), who are ranked 57 places below Cameroon (49) in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.
Despite the defeat, Cameroon still have a chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020. The Indomitable Lionesses will now face Chile in an intercontinental play-off for one last shot at winning a ticket to the Olympics. Cameroon will host the first leg on 9 April, while Chile will host the return leg on 15 April.
With the support of the their fans at the Nkoloma Staddium in Lusaka in the second leg, Zambia got out in a two-goal lead over Cameroon by half-time thanks to Mary Mwakapila’s early opener and Hellen Mubanga’s goal right before the break. Cameroon did not go out without a fight as Ajara Nchout managed to score an injury-time goal but it was not enough for her side to win the direct ticket to Tokyo 2020, and it was Zambia who were the ones making history.