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Malawi target Cosafa semis

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe, In Port Elizabeth, Rsa:

MKANDAWIRE— I will do my best

Malawi women’s national football team flew out of the country Monday with a mission to reach the semifinals of the 2019 Cosafa Women’s Championship slated for July 31 to August 11 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Malawi begin their campaign against Madagascar at Wolfon Stadium Wednesday.

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She-Flames Coach, Abel Mkandawire, said he was targeting a semifinal finish at the regional showpiece.

“We are on a serious mission to qualify for the semifinals. Of course, this will not be easy but my players are hungry for success,” Mkandawire said.

The She-Flames are in Group A alongside hosts and defending champions South Africa, debutants Comoros Islands and Madagascar.

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Malawi are in South Africa without influential strikers Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga, who failed to make the trip because of club commitments.

Tabitha plays in China while Temwa plies her trade in Sweden.

Vice Captain Madina Ngulube is also out after suffering a knee injury during training.

But Mkandawire will bank his hopes on seasoned players such as Linda Kasenda, Salome and Towera Vinkhumbo, Bridget Mkuzilire and Sabina Thom.

Leader of delegation Suzgo Ngwira, who is also National Women’s Football Association Chairperson, said she was optimistic of doing well at the tournament.

“The team has prepared well and players are in great shape. It is our hope that they will do better than last year,” Ngwira said.

Just like Malawi, South Africa will also be without some overseas players including Thembi Kgatlana due to club commitments.

Last year, Malawi failed to progress to the semifinals after losing two games to South Africa (6-0) and Botswana (2- 0). The She-Flames had earlier beaten Madagascar 2-0.

The overall winner from each group will advance to the semifinals and will be joined by the best loser

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