MX23RW : Monday, August 2 19:07:06| >> :600:676885:676885:
Jul 24, 2021 at 9am UK at Miyagi Stadium
China PR WomenChina PR Women
Zambia WomenZambia Women
Wang (6', 22', 23', 83' pen.)
Li (86')
FT(HT: 3-2)
Kundanaji (15'), Banda (42' pen., 46', 69')
Mweemba (83')

Preview: China PR Women vs. Zambia Women - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Olympic Games Women's Football clash between China PR Women and Zambia Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

China PR Women and Zambia Women will both be aiming to recover from demoralising opening defeats in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Group F when they do battle at the Miyagi Stadium on Saturday evening.

Jia Xiuquan's team were outclassed by a five-star Brazil in their first encounter of the tournament, while Zambia's defence was breached 10 times by a ruthless Netherlands outfit.

Match preview

China coach Jia Xiuquan reacts after the match in June 2019© Reuters

The excellence of Brazilian veteran Marta shone through after just nine minutes of their clash with China on the opening matchday, as the six-time World Player of the Year winner broke the deadlock early on and the floodgates opened thereafter.

The 35-year-old would notch up a brace on the day while Debinha, Andressa and Beatriz also got in on the act to seal a comfortable 5-0 win for the South American powerhouses, and China's six-game unbeaten run across all competitions came to a bitter end behind closed doors.

Manager Xiuquan accepted responsibility for his side's humbling and paid tribute to his players for giving it their all against a Marta-inspired Brazil, but it was always going to be a difficult ask for China to get one over the world's seventh-ranked nation.

China find themselves occupying third spot in Group F following their opening-day thrashing - a ranking which may still be enough to seal a knockout berth depending on how well they perform in the coming days - and they can take solace in the fact that they did not concede in the double figures, which is more than can be said for Zambia.

Rising star Barbra Banda may have chalked up a hat-trick on the day, but there was very little else for Zambia to cheer about against the Netherlands, whose own prolific centre-forward Vivianne Miedema made the net ripple four times in Tokyo.

Miedema's recently-departed Arsenal teammate Jill Roord also found the back of the net alongside Lieke Martens (two), Shanice van de Sanden, Lineth Beerensteyn and Victoria Pelova, as Zambia took part in the highest-scoring women's game ever at the Olympics and came out on the wrong end of a staggering scoreline.

With 100 places separating the two nations in the FIFA World Rankings, it was hardly surprising to see the Dutch assume their dominance early doors, and Zambia women's first-ever appearance at the Olympics is at risk of a premature end barring a miracle in their next two games.

Bruce Mwape's side were certainly not expected to challenge for a top-two berth before the first ball was kicked in Tokyo, but Banda - who plays her football in China with Shanghai Shengli - knows where the back of the net is, so attack may be the best form of defence for the Copper Queens here.

China PR Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • L

China PR Women form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

Zambia Women Olympic Games Women's Football form:
  • L

Zambia Women form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

China midfielder Wang Yan lasted just 33 minutes against Brazil before coming off for Wurigumula, who will endeavour to push for a start after rattling the woodwork on the day.

Xiuquan's crop had their moments against Brazil, despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise, and the 57-year-old could elect to keep faith in the majority of his players who featured from the first whistle on Wednesday.

However, 120-cap defender Wu Haiyan reportedly missed out the loss to Brazil due to injury, and the 28-year-old's experience was evidently missed by her team.

Zambia defender Martha Tembo was forced to miss the opener with the Netherlands through suspension, but she is eligible to play here and ready to slot into the rearguard or midfield if necessary.

Twenty-one-year old forward Banda made history with her stellar opening game at the Olympics - not only did she score Zambia Women's first ever goal at the games, but she became the first ever women's player from Africa to net three times at the quadrennial tournament.

China PR Women possible starting lineup:
Shimeng; Guiping, Xiaoxue, Lina, Mengwen; Shuang, Qingtong, Siwen, Xin; Wurigumula, Shanshan

Zambia Women possible starting lineup:
Nali; Belemu, Mulenga, Tembo, Siamfuko; Lungu, Wilombe; Chitunda, Chanda, Banda; Mubanga

SM words green background

We say: China PR Women 4-1 Zambia Women

The gulf in class was evident in both of these teams' opening games at the Tokyo Olympics, and it may be a similar story for Zambia here, even with Banda leading the charge in the final third.

While the Copper Queens always have a chance of increasing their goals tally with the 21-year-old on form, we expect China to consign their midweek profligacy to history as they get off the mark at the second attempt.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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