A devastating attacking performance gave Netherlands a thumping 10-3 win in their first Group F match, underlining their status as one of the tournament favourites. But Zambia and the brilliant Barbra Banda in particular caused them problems at the back, and Sarina Wiegman will know her team have work to do.
Zambia started the match well, creating the first scoring opportunity - missed by Grace Chanda - then, on nine minutes, Vivianne Miedema notched the first goal of a first-half hat-trick to give Netherlands the lead.
Two more goals followed, on 14 and 15 minutes, the first scored by Lieke Martens and second by Miedema, before Banda yanked her team back into things. But three more goals in the final 15 minutes of the half, to Miedema, Mertens and Van de Sanden, put Zambia in terrible trouble, and going into the break, you feared for them.
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The second half featured more of the same, though the pace slowed. Midema scored her fourth and Netherlands’ seventh on 59 minutes before taking a rest, then Jill Roord, Lineth Beerensteyn and Victoria Pelova added eight, nine and 10. But just as it looked like USA’s 13-goal record winning margin - achieved against Thailand in the 2019 World Cup - was under threat, the brilliant Banda scored twice in two minutes to give the scoreline a fairer feel.

TALKING POINT - Wow.

Netherlands are one of the favourites for the gold medal and rightly so – they have attackers as good as any team in the competition But the way they defended against Zambia will be a concern because they gave up numerous chances and did not look able to protect their high line by pressing the ball in midfield.

On the other hand, this was only their first game and playing for the opposition was Barbra Banda, who somehow played on both right and left flank, her pace and trickery too much for both Dutch full-backs. Currently, Banda plays her club football for Shanghai Shengli, but it would be incredible if any of the world’s biggest clubs were not watching her and reaching down the back of the sofa. It seems foolish to draw conclusIons on the strength of one game, but whoever gets there first will surely not regret their decision.

Lieke Martens puts Netherlands 2-0 up after another Hazel Nali error for Zambia

PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Barbra Banda (Zambia)

Scored three and could have had more, somehow playing on both flanks. Her skill, speed, mentality and intelligence will make her a superstar.

PLAYER RATINGS

Zambia: Nali 5; Mweemba 4, Siamfuko 5, Mulenga 4, Belemu 5; Wilombe 5, Chanda G 6, Lungu 5; Mubanga 5, Banda 9, Chitundu 5. Subs: Lubandji 6, Musase 6, Mukwasa 6.
Netherlands: Van Veenedaal 5, Janssen 6, Van der Gragt 5, Nouwen 5, Van Dongen 6, Roord 7, Groenen 6, Van de Donk 9, Van de Sanden 7, Martens 8, Miedema 9. Subs: Wilms 5, Beerensteyn 7, Jansen 6, Pelova 7, Kika 6.

Roord scores stunning solo effort in Netherlands rout of Zambia

KEY MOMENTS

9' - Zambia 0-1 Netherlands (Miedema) Oh dear. Van der Gragt launches a long ball and Miedema is after it, but Nali is right there to clear. Problem being, she doesn't realise she's outside her box so starts to go with her hands then it dawns on her, she chucks a forlorn head at it ... and misses. So Miedema races past and pokes into the unguarded net. Zambia had started so well too.

14' - GOAL! Zambia 0-2 Netherlands (Martens) One long ball from Janssen sends Miedema away again, her first touch isn't great but she has players to either side, all behind the Zambian offside trap, and Martens taps home into the empty net.

15' - GOAL! Zambia 0-3 Netherlands (Miedema) This could get very messy indeed. Again, Netherlands get in behind with three players minding their own business. Nali comes out, doesn't get the ball, and Miedema clips into the unguarded net.

19' - GOAL! Zambia 1-3 Netherlands (Banda) Goodness me! A long punt over the top from left to right seeks Banda, who looks a player. But Van Veenedaal, rushing out, is in control ... except she completely misses the ball, and Banda finally gets her goal! Both sides have defended and kept goal absolutely miserably.

30' - GOAL! Zambia 1-4 Netherlands (Miedema) It's a hat-trick for Miedema! Van de Donk gets away down the left, played onside by Mulenga, and when she squares, Miedema is there to control on her chest and crack past both Nali and Mweemba, who does all she can to block on the line.

38' - GOAL! Zambia 1-5 Netherlands (Mertens) This is a beauty! Roord finds herself on the right and clips a pass into the path of Martens who, from 20 yards, bends a delicious, rising finish inside the near post! Beautifully done.

45' - GOAL! Zambia 1-6 Netherlands (Van de Sanden) Zambia partially clear yet another Netherlands attack but the ball arrives at the feet of Roord, wide on the left, and because Mweemba is slow to get out, her cross finds Van de Sanden onside, and she slides in to poke a volley past Nali for her 20th international goal.

59' - GOAL! Zambia 1-7 Netherlands (Miedema) Zambia's offside trap needs work. First, Miedema and Martens get in behind but can't manufacture what looks a certain goal, then a ball over the top finds Van de Donk in absolute oceans. She controls, squares, and Midema hammers a rising shot past Nali for her fourth goal. She's pretty good.

64' - GOAL! Zambia 1-8 Netherlands (Roord) Eesh! Roord takes possession on the left, 25 yards out, and burrows towards goal, swaying and bundling past a coupe of weak challenges from Mulenga and Belemu before slotting calmly under Nali. I've not a clue where this will end.

75' - GOAL! Zambia 1-9 Netherlands (Beerensteyn) Another mess I'm afraid. Belemu dithers on the ball, gets her feet into a right two-an, and Beerensteyn robs her to clip a decent finish over Nali's dive.

80' - GOAL! Zambia 1-10 Netherlands (Pelova) This is so simple. Janssen again makes ground down the right, crosses low, and Pelova, unmarked, finishes with ease.

82' - GOAL! Zambia 2-10 Netherlands (Banda) Strange to say this of so complete a tousing, but this game will be remembered for Banda announcing herself to the world. Hanging on the last defender, wide on the left, when the pass comes she gets away from Wilms, rounds Van Veenendaal on the outside ... and just when it looks like she's overrun the ball, slots a composed finish into the net.

83' - GOAL! Zambia 3-10 Netherlands (Banda) It's a hat-trick! This time, Banda appears on the right and when Nouwen dallies on the ball, she robs her ad spanks a low shpt that beats Van Veenendaal at her near post! What a player!
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