Ascent Academy, Ntopwa Women FC tussle for Women’s Cup glory
In the face of great need, a champion will rise to the occasion. Ascent Academy and Ntopwa Women FC are familiar foes in domestic women’s football, and this afternoon, they will clash in the final of the 2022 Fam National Championship at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre.
At stake is K3 million plus a trophy.
Before the final, there is battle for third-place involving heavyweights DD Sunshine (Silver Strikers Ladies) and Nyasa Big Bullets Women at the same venue.
Both Ascent and Ntopwa are making their maiden appearance in the final.
The two teams have demonstrated the heart of lioness having defied all odds to reach this far.
Ascent showed great character as they eliminated Bullets Women following a 5-3 victory on post-match penalties after a goal-less stalemate in regulation time.
Ntopwa also caused one of the greatest upsets in domestic women’s football when they knocked out Sunshine after a similar victory on post-match penalties.
Sunshine and Ntopwa played out to a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
Interestingly, both Ascent and Ntopwa were in the same group during the group stages in which they shared the spoils following a 1-1 draw at Civo Stadium.
But the two teams met in 2022 in a friendly which Ntopwa won 2-1 at Balaka Stadium.
Ascent Coach Thom Mkolongo said his charges are ready for the big showdown.
“The girls know that this is a very important match. They just need to be at their best to win it. If we play according to our plan we will win the cup,” Mkolongo, whose side won the Central Region Fam Women’s Cup without a loss, said.
Ascent play like a unit, building up from the back while keeping possession.
They have one of the most feared striking forces in domestic women’s football.
On a good day, Rose Kabzere, Leticia Chinyamula and Faith Chimzimu can cause plenty of problems.
Ntopwa Women Coach Isaac Jomo Osman declared total war on Ascent.
“We want to write history. We cannot afford to lose this match in front of our home crowd. Even Ascent know that they are fighting a losing battle,” Ntopwa said.
Osman has assembled a good squad but will be without Rose Alufandika due to a two yellow cards suspension.
However, Saliva January, Memory Chidesa and Mercy Sikelo are available for the match.
The runners-up will pocket K1.5 million whereas the third and fourth placed teams will get K700,000 and K500,000, respectively.
A total of 10 teams participated in the tournament at national level.
Each team got K1 million as subvention. Additionally, semi-finalists received K1 million each.