Malawi Women’s National Football Team, the Scorchers, are one foot into the semifinals of this year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship following a 2-0 victory over Angola at Nelson Mandela University Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa Monday.
The Scorchers finished as Group A runner-up with six points, one point behind defending champions South Africa, who booked a ticket to the semifinals as group leaders after beating Mozambique 3-1 in another match.
However, the Scorchers’ fate will be decided this afternoon as Group C leaders Zambia face guest nation Uganda.
A win or draw for Zambia will ensure Malawi’s place in the semifinals whereas a loss for the Cooper Queens (Zambia) will eliminate the Scorchers.
Zambia will still progress if they lose to Uganda by not more than eight goals as they have a better goal difference compared to Malawi.
After a barren first half, Limbikani Chikupira broke the deadlock for the Scorchers in the 69th minute before captain Madyina Ngulube sealed the victory in the 81st minute.
Malawi missed several chances, especially in the first half, with Chikupira and Asimenye Simwaka the main culprits.
Scorchers coach McNelbert Kazuwa made two changes to the squad that faced South Africa and Mozambique last week.
Goalkeeper Ruth Mhango was handed her Cosafa Cup debut as she replaced Samir Amidu. Chikupira came in for suspended Zainab Kapanda.
The changes brought much stability, especially in goalkeeping, as Malawi kept a clean sheet for the first time in this year’s Cosafa Cup. After the win, Kazuwa was pleased with the performance of the team.
“The girls played according to our plan. This is a good win for us and the girls deserved it,” Kazuwa said.
The win for Malawi also handed Angola their first defeat at the competition after draws against South Africa and Mozambique.
Tanzania have already qualified for the semifinals after a 3-0 win over South Sudan in Group B match whereas Zimbabwe, who defeated Botswana by a similar margin, have been eliminated due to inferior goal difference against Malawi.
The Scorchers have the two-goal difference as compared to Zimbabwe’s one.
Malawi line up:
Mhango, Patricia Nyirenda, Ruth Nyirongo, Ireen Khumalo, Chimwemwe Madise, Ngulube, Simwaka, Wezzie Mvula, Chikupira, Sabina Thom, Fazila Chiyembekezo.