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McNebert Kazuwa relishes Zambia clash

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George Kaudza Masina

Malawi women’s national football team Coach, McNebert Kazuwa, has said he relishes the clash against Zambia after the two teams were drawn in the same group for this year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship.

Completing Group B are Lesotho who are expected to be punching bags of the event which is scheduled for November 3 to 14 in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

Kazuwa, who will be guiding the team for the first time after deputising former mentor Abel Mkandawire, said his charges were ready for Zambia.

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“We will be going into the match with revenge on our minds. Yes it is a tough draw but we have been waiting for this opportunity. We want to prove that we are also a strong team in women’s football. Zambia contributed to our downfall in this competition last year and also knocked us out of the 2017 competition, so we have a point to prove,” he said.

Kazuwa will be banking on China-based Chawinga sisters, Tabitha and Temwa, who will be at the competition for the first time since 2017.

Tabitha said Zambia will be tough opponents as they have been improving their performance in recent years.

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“We should be careful with Zambia because they have improved quite a lot over the years. But we can challenge them and win. We just have to put up a great fight,” she said.

Football analyst George Kaudza Masina described the draw as tricky for Malawi.

“Zambia have always had the edge each time we meet them. I expect them to finish top of the group. Lesotho have also improved a lot. However, we are also capable of surprising them. We stand a chance of making it to the semifinal. We just need proper preparations,” he said.

During the 2019 edition of the regional showpiece, the Scorchers needed neighbourly love from Zambia to qualify for the semifinals as overall best runners-up.

For that to happen, the match between Zambia and Botswana needed to produce a winner.

However, the encounter ended goalless under questionable circumstances after Zambian striker Rachael Nachula miscued her spot kick in a bizarre manner.

Malawi and Zambia also met at the same competition in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 2017 with the latter winning 6-3.

Group A comprises holders and hosts South Africa, eSwatini, Comoros Islands and Angola whereas Group C has Zimbabwe, Botswana and Tanzania.

Winners from each group will advance to the semifinals of the competition where they will be joined by the over-all best runners-up.

Malawi begin their campaign against Lesotho at Isaac Wolfson Stadium on November 7 before meeting Zambia three days later at the same venue.

The Scorchers have never qualified for the semifinals of the competition since 2011.

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