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Maggie Chombo eyes dream start

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Malawi under-20 women’s national football team is hoping for a dream start when hosting Zimbabwe in Fifa 2021 Under-20 Women’s World Cup preliminary round qualifier at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre this afternoon.

The local women’s football icon is optimistic that her charges will use home-ground advantage to take control of the tie ahead of the return match set for February 1 in Bulawayo.

The Malawi side was playing against developmental male sides in readiness of the qualifier.

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“It was good to face men opposition because it has helped us improve on fitness and speed. We will surely put a gallant fight,” she said.

Chombo is confident that majority of players that were part of the Region Five Games in Gaborone, Botswana two years ago have developed thick skin to help the side progress.

“Some of the players in the squad have Region Five experience and they will help their colleagues to work hard,” she said.

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Malawi under-20 women’s captain, Zainabu Kapanda, said the players are beaming with confidence and ready to roast Zimbabwe.

“We will try our best to follow the coaches’ instructions and eventually we hope to do better,” she said.

Kapanda alongside vice captain, Tiwonge Phiri, are some of Malawi’s notable players.

On her part, Zimbabwe under-20 women’s coach, Rosemary Mugadza, said, although they arrived late on Thursday, the team was acclimatising.

“As you know our temperatures are the same in Southern Africa. We promise the nation of Malawi that come in your numbers to watch the girls play football just like men. You are going to enjoy women’s football and it is going to be a good start for the Malawi team which has not been participating in Cosafa competitions. This is a good gesture from the association and, by making them play in World Cup qualifiers, it is even good for Africa,” she said.

Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) has renamed the senior women’s football side as ‘The Scorchers’ replacing ‘The She-Flames’ which was synonymous with the team in recent times.

The name was pronounced at Fam executive meeting at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi on Wednesday.

Fam General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, confirmed the change saying it was deliberated.

“Since the name was pronounced, it means the change has been effected,” she said.

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