Malawi Under-17 Girls National Football Team coach Trevor Kajawa has shifted his attention to Monday’s clash against Namibia after his charges got off to a bad start in the 2022 African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games.
Junior Scorchers lost 4-1 to South Africa at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Thursday.
Kajawa said his charges can bounce back in the competition when facing Namibia.
“It is too early to rule us out. The competition has started and we need to focus on the match against Namibia. If we plan and execute our strategy, we can secure a win,” he said.
Kajawa, who also coaches Mighty Tigers, admitted that his charges were nervous in the first half against South Africa.
“Being our first match, the girls were nervous. But we talked to them at half time and they showed great character in the second half,” Kajawa said.
His South African counterpart Victoria Mbatha hailed her team for executing their game plan.
“Let us not take credit away from Malawi. They have a good team which plays a direct game,” Mbatha said.
South Africa were in front as early as 10 minutes after kickoff through Andielle Mibe who beat Malawi goalkeeper Ester Maulidi.
The junior Scorchers re-organised themselves and tried to come back into the game but lacked firepower upfront.
Captain Rose Kabzere and Mary Chindeya were too casual and failed to get past the South Africa defence.
Towards the end of the first half, the junior Scorchers switched off and conceded two goals in a space of three minutes.
Mibe completed her brace in the 38th minute before Mabahle Mdelwa scored a beauty, beating Maulidi at the near post.
Malawi returned for the second half with changed ideas and took the game to the visitors.
They reduced the deficit in the 66th minute through Mary Mbalangwe.
However, Khutso Mogano hammered the last nail on Malawi’s coffin in the 84th minute.
In another match, Zambia beat Botswana 5-0 in an early kick off.