Rachel Nachula scored an incredible eight goals as Zambia rampaged to their biggest ever victory with a 15-0 success over Mauritius on day two of the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship at the Wolfson Stadium on Thursday.
The goals rush followed South Africa’s 17-0 demolition of Comoros Islands on the opening day, and while not a tournament record, easily eclipses Zambia’s previous best mark of 8-0 set in 2002.
Nachula was simply unstoppable as she charged through the Mauritian defence time and again, having too much pace and power, as well as a clinical boot.
Zambia led 7-0 at halftime, and improved that scoring rate in the second half as they overwhelmed their opponents.
There was also a brace for Grace Chanda, while Hellen Chanda, Theresa Chewe, Rhoda Chileshe and Mary Mwakapila found the back of the net, to go with an own goal from Mauritian Marie Jerome.
It was an emphatic performance from the Zambians, who have their eye on the top prize this year having failed to make the COSAFA final in the past.
Earlier, Eswatini came from a goal down to beat Mozambique 3-1 in what was a good start for them to the tournament.
Lucia put Mozambique in front midway through the first half, but three goals in nine second-half minutes swung the fixture in favour of Eswatini.
Nomvula Sanga, Tenanile Mgcamphalala and Phumzile Dlamini all netted for Eswatini in what was a superb second period for the side.
A young Botswana side claimed a famous 1-0 victory over Namibia in their Group B clash thanks to a lone goal from MichelleAbueng just before halftime.
Many of the senior Botswana side are in Slovakia on a tour, but the young guns performed superbly to stun Namibia, who would have had hopes of starting off with a win.
The senior women’s action continues on Friday, with hosts South Africa back in action in what looks like being the pivotal match in Group A.
They will take on Malawi at the Wolfson Stadium at 15h30 (13h30 GMT) after the She-Flames also got a win in their opener, beating Madagascar 2-0.
The Comoros and Madagascar will battle to stay in contention for the semifinals when they meet in the morning game at 10h00 (08h00), while in between the two fixtures there is a match in Group C.
Zimbabwe will look to continue their good form when they meet Mozambique, with the latter now also desperate for success. The match is at 12h45 (10h45 GMT).
Meanwhile, Namibia came from behind to defeat Mozambique 2-1 to get the COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship under-way and record the very first victory in what is a brand-new competition in this age-group.
Dulcie Lopes had put Mozambique into an early lead after just three minutes, but two goals in seven second-half minutes handed Namibia the three points.
First Indira Jacobs levelled the scores, before Veronica April netted on the hour-mark to give the Namibians a deserved lead that they were able maintain to the end of the match.
Hosts South Africa cruised to a 3-0 win over Zimbabwe in the other match in Group A, though they were made to work hard in the first half.
Tyla-Bree Joss opened the scoring on 53 minutes before the points were made safe as Shakeerah Jacobs added a second. The cherry on top came in the form of a strike from the edge of the box by Ember Edwards that was too powerful for the Zimbabwe keeper.
There will be two matches played in Group B at the Gelvandale Stadium on Friday as Botswana challenge East Africa guest nation Tanzania in the first at 11h00 (09h00 GMT).
The second game will see Zambia clash with Eswatini at 14h00 (12h00 GMT).