Full-Time Scores: Red Arrows 0 – 2 National Assembly (Thelma Phiri, Grace Kamanga)
Red Arrows hosted National Assembly away from Home at the Bank Of Zambia Sports Club grounds which was arguably the game of the weekend in the Lusaka Region Football Association of Zambia(FAZ) Women’s League Week 18 action on Saturday 22nd June 2019. The game saw the Air Women succumbing to a 2-Nil home defeat at the hands of the Parliamentarians.
In the reverse fixture, The Parliamentarians were beaten 2-nil at their backyard courtesy of a Libangi ‘Dauchu’ Ochumba Brace. The two sides came into the game wanting nothing less than victory in the match played at a neutral venue which acted as a home ground for the Air Women after moving the game from Nkoloma Stadium.
The Parliamentarians found the back of the net through Thelma Phiri with a first-half beautiful Free Kick outside the 18 Yard area following a foul on Donaria ‘Dante’ Simaundu by Doreen Mwaseba. Grace Kamanga doubled the Parliamentarians Women lead a few minutes into the second half to make sure it was a Sweet Revenge for the Coach Elophy ‘Dela’ Kutayaya drilled side.
Red Arrows struggled in most parts of the match. A lot of players looked tired with so many misplaced passes and they were also not clinical in front of goal with the likes of Grace Chanda who was highly marked, Helen Mubanga alongside Ochumba failing to strings together good passes upfront.
There was a fierce midfield battle with Mary Mulenga battling it out in the against the enterprising Grace ‘Coin’ Mulaisho who put up an excellent shift, Elina Nyirenda who was very mobile, Energetic Gladys Shikalupa and a Calm Grace Kamanga who contributed a goal for the away side.
Arrows defense led by team captain Rebbecca Nyirenda Partnering with Helen ‘Soldier’ Simbuwa alongside Doreen and Margaret Belemu on the left and right back respectively was the busier of the two sides and were troubled with great and speedy runs from Simaundu who was a threat in the area of the arrow, unfortunately she was injured and later stretched off after a series of tackles and fouls on her and was replaced by Norin Betani who equally had a good game working well with Christine Zimba as they made sure Chiko Nkhoma the arrows goal minder was made busy throughout the 90 minutes.
Thelma Phiri who produced an outstanding performance and scored one of the 2 goals was very solid in the heart of defense together with Sylvia Bwalya for Assembly throughout the game not forgetting the hardworking Captain, Florence ‘Mazuba’ Tembo and the right back Dorothy Lungu who barely gave room for Chanda, Mubanga, Ochumba and Prisca Chilufya who was lively after her introduction in the second half but nothing much to worry Bupe Mwanza in goal as she was well covered.
Arrows made some changes in both halves resting Mary Mulenga, Susan, Helen Mubanga and bringing in Elizabeth Nachivula, Milika Limanya, and Prisca Chilufya respectively but they still couldn’t help the Zambia Airforce sponsored side to get the desired result.
After all, was done and dusted, a goal in each half from Thelma Phiri and Grace Kamanga was all that Assembly needed to inflict a painful loss on Arrows. The Parliamentarians were a happier and proud side pocketing maximum points while it is back to the drawing board for the Coach Simon Bwale drilled side who face yet another tough task in their next assignment visiting Green Buffaloes at Arakan Ground.