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Heroines!

Scorchers break South Africa jinx, to face Tanzania in Cosafa final

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McNelbert Kazuwa

The revenge dish is best served straight from the scorching heat of a charcoal burner!

Thursday, this came with tears of joy as Malawi Women’s National Football Team players ran amok to celebrate qualifying for the Cosafa Women’s Cup final for the first time ever.

The Scorchers served the nation with the mouthwatering dish from Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Thursday courtesy of a 3-2 win over the hosts to march to the final.

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The Scorchers will meet Tanzania on Saturday at the same venue for the final match.

It was a historic win for Malawi, as they broke the South Africa jinx in the competition that has haunted them since 2002.

Relief was the prevalent emotion after the final whistle as the Scorchers turned the costal stadium into a theatre of wild celebrations.

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Coach McNebert Kazuwa celebrated the victory with push-ups on the touchline.

It was a befitting reaction to a historic result that did not come on a silver platter.

The Scorchers showed great character throughout the match as they matched the dominant hosts pound-for-pound.

Sabin Thom scored a brace for Malawi, with the other goal coming from Fazila Chiyembekezo.

Sibulele Holwen also netted a brace for Banyana Banyana. Chiyembekezo scored through a free header seven minutes before the break but Holwen equalised for South Africa on the dot of half time with a spectacular goal.

The two teams went for recess tied at one-all. After the break, Thom restored Scorchers’ lead with a clever finish after great footwork from Playe-of-the-Match Asimenye Simwaka on the right flank.

Holwen leveled the scores from the penalty spot after Scorchers captain Madyina Ngulube brought down a South Africa attacker.

The deciding moment of the match came four minutes to full time.

Malawi piled pressure on South Africa and Thom rose to the occasion to net the winner after the hosts failed to clear it.

Kazuwa said they had a plan for the match and it worked.

“We had a plan to suprise them and it worked. The girls worked hard and I congratulate them for the win,” he said.

It was a sad moment for Banyana as they missed the final for the first time since 2011.

Coach Desiree Ellis conceded defeat and rued missed chances.

“Malawi were very solid at the back but we showed a fighting spirit although we lost the match,” Ellis said.

Kazuwa made one change to the side that defeated Angola 2-0 in the group stages, with Zainab Kapanda returning after serving her yellow card suspension.

She replaced Limbikani Chikupira, who was relegated to the bench.

In an early kickoff, Tanzania beat Zambia 4-2 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time. South Africa will meet Zambia in the third place play-off before the final.

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