After a sluggish start, Malawi Women’s National Football Team steps onto the Nelson Mandela University Stadium pitch this afternoon with a mission to get a win against Mozambique at the ongoing Cosafa Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The Scorchers started the competition with a 2-1 loss to hosts and defending champions South Africa whereas Mozambique drew 2-2 with Angola.
This is a must-win clash for Malawi if they are to keep their semifinal hopes alive.
Scorchers are bottom of Group A with no point whereas Mozambique are third with one point, at par with second-placed Angola.
Banyana Banyana lead the group with three points after the win against Malawi.
However, Mozambique are not push-overs at this stage, having demonstrated a fighting spirit in their opener against Angola on Tuesday.
To win this tie, Malawi must have self-belief and great character as their opponents will also be hunting for victory.
The two sides last met in a Caf Women’s Olympic Games qualifier whose first leg the Scorchers won 11-1 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre some years ago.
Malawi followed it up with a 3-0 win in Maputo to prevail 13 -1 on aggregate.
Ahead of today’s match, the Scorchers had a recovery session at Old Grey Ground on Wednesday before a familiasation tour of Nelson Mandela University Stadium.
Scorchers trainer McNerbert Kazuwa said they would not underrate Mozambique.
“We have a strong belief that we will get maximum points against Mozambique. The girls know the importance of the match. There is no room for error,” Kazuwa said.
Malawi will wrap up the group stages with a match against Angola on Monday.
Kazuwa is likely to maintain the line-up that started against Banyana Banyana.
Despite a poor showing in the match against South Africa, goalkeeper Samir Amidu will keep her place whereas Patricia Nyirenda, Chimwemwe Madise, Ruth Nyirongo and Ireen Khumalo are also likely to be maintained.
Captain Madyina Ngulube and Zainab Kapanda will be deployed in midfield whereas Wezzie Mvula and Asimenye Simwaka are likely to be trusted with the role of operating from the wings.
Upfront, Kazuwa will likely trust Sabina Thom and Fazila Chiyembekezo, who had a grand game against South Africa.
Mozambique Coach Felizarda Malache will rely on Rosa Antonio, Amilia Banze, Albertina Carlos and Lucia Mocambique.
The top team in each group will advance to the competition’s semifinals where one overall best runner-up will join them.
The match between the two neighbours kicks off at noon.
In another Group A match, leaders South Africa take on Angola later in the day.