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Scorchers coach optimistic

Cosafa draw set for Thursday

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Malawi women’s national football team coach McNelbert Kazuwa believes he has assembled a good squad capable of pulling the surprise at this year’s Cosafa Women’s championship.

For the first time, Kazuwa will guide the Scorchers to this year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship slated for November 3-14 in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.

However, Kazuwa said his ultimate target was to challenge for honours this year.

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“I am very impressed with the fitness levels of the players. We are going to Cosafa Cup to compete and hopefully to win the cup. In football anything is possible, we need to have self-belief in the players,” he said.

The Scorchers have never reached the Cosafa Cup finals since it was introduced in 2002. Scorchers best ever finish was in 2011 when they reached the semifinals but were eliminated after a 5-1 loss to South Africa.

Since then, the team has failed to go past the group stages as in most cases they are drawn against heavyweights South Africa.

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China-based Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga are expected to lead the team after a good season in the Chinese Women’s Football League.

Both Tabitha and Temwa are expected to arrive in the country this week for a holiday but will join Scorchers camp later.

Temwa, in an interview yesterday, said she was on her way to Malawi.

“I am currently in Kenya and I hope I will be in Malawi this week,” she said.

Temwa helped Wuhan to win the league title in her debut season having scored nine goals, nine behind top goal scorer Barbra Banda. Tabitha also helped her side Jiangu Sunning to second place finish after scoring seven goals.

Meanwhile, the draw for the competition is expected to take place at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow.

A total of 10 teams have confirmed their participation in this year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship which will be played behind closed doors for the first time due to Covid-19.

Lesotho and eSwatini made late confirmation joining Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola, Comoros Islands, Zimbabwe, Botswana and defending champions South Africa.

The competition’s format has also changed to three pools instead of the two that were initially planned according to Cosafa website. Group A will have four teams whereas Group B and C will each have three teams. The group winners will advance to the semifinals of the competition and they will be joined by the best runners-up.

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