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Junior Scorchers claim bronze

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Lovemore Fazili

Malawi Under-17 Girls National Football Team registered a 9-0 victory over Botswana to win bronze at the 2022 Cosafa Girls Championship at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday.

It was a dominant performance from the girls but Botswana somehow did not come to the party. The junior Scorchers were simply too good for Botswana.

Faith Chizimu scored a hattrick while Leticia Chinyamula and Sarah Mulimbika scored a brace each, with the other goals coming from Linda Manda and Rose Kabzere.

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Kabzere has scored nine goals in this year’s competition and she has been very influential in the Malawi team.

In post-match reaction, U-17 coach Trevor Kajawa said there were several positives from the tournament.

“I am proud of the girls. Players like Rose and Leticia have been a revelation of the tournament. The future looks bright for us,” Kajawa said.

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He appealed to Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to keep the girls active.

“We have talented players but we need to keep them busy. It will be good if there are more tournaments so that the girls gain more exposure,” he said.

It was the first time for junior Scorchers to participate in an international tournament.

Scorchers coach Lovemore Fazili hailed the girls for a spirited performance.

“The future looks bright. I am happy with the performance of the team. I am sure some of the players will be given a chance to play for the senior team,” Fazili said.

Botswana Coach Tapaphiwa Gaebolae said there were lessons from the tournament.

“The gap is huge between teams; so, we urge our government to invest more in the game. I believe, very soon, we will be at the same level,” he said.

During the tournament, junior Scorchers scored a total of 24 goals but conceded six.

Malawi started the competition with a 4-1 loss to South Africa but beat Namibia 12-0 in the second match. They lost 3-1 on post-match penalties to Zambia in the semi-final after a 2-2 stalemate in regulation time.

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