Zambia registred a fine victory over Costa Rica in their final group stage match of the FIFA world cup 2023 at the Waikato Stadium. The African side display a quality performance in its final game of this World Cup campaign to outplay Costa Rica.
Zambia clearly were the better side of the two as they created more significant chances and of course capitalised on them better than their opponents so as to end their World Cup campaign on a high. Following this win, Zambia brought up their first points in the tournament’s current edition and finished third in their group’s table. Costa Rica on the other hand will be returning home without a single point to their name. The side lost all three of it’s group stage games and finished at the bottom of its group’s table.
Zambia proved their domination right from the kick off as it took them just 3 minutes to open the scoring. Chitundu’s outswinging corner was brilliantly smashed on the volley by Mweeba as the ball nestled into the back of the net after beating Solera with ease. Zambia came close to score again in the 26th minute when Barbra Banda stormed through the Costa Rican defence to tee up the ball to Chitundu who in turn sent her shot wide of the left post. Zambia eventually doubled their lead 5 minutes later after being awarded a penalty. Barbra Banda stood up to take the penalty and converted her spot kick to make it 2-0. Costa Rica arguably had their best opportunity of the match in the 41st minute. Maria Coto managed to connect Alvarado’s free kick via a header, but could only watch her attempt come off the woodwork.
The second half began and Costa Rica did get the reward for all their hard work as they managed to pull one back in the 47th minute. Following an outswinging corner, Coto’s looping header from near the penalty area was nodded into the path of Herrera by Del Campo as the former turned the ball in front close range. Costa Rica had one of their penalty claims being turned down by referee’s VAR check after an ugly clash between Costa Rica’s Chinchilla and the Zambian goalkeeper Musonda. Each of the two sides continued their attempts to strengthen their grip on the match. In the end it was Zambia who had the last laugh as they wrapped up the game with another goal in the stoppage time. Barbra Banda’s clever reverse pass found Kundananji who slipped the ball below Solera, into the net. FT:- Zambia 3-1 Costa Rica.
Neither of the two sides will have another game to play at this World Cup since each of them have been eliminated from the group stages itself.