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Scorchers in tricky Cosafa draw

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe

Malawi Women’s National Football Team, the Scorchers, have been drawn in Group of Death of the 2022 Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup to be staged from August 31 to September 11 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The draw, which was conducted at Sugar Ray Stadium in Durban yesterday, saw the Scorchers drawn in Group C alongside holders and guest nation Tanzania, Botswana and Comoros.

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This is a tough group as Tanzania and Botswana are strong teams.

Tanzania, who return to the Cosafa Cup as guests for the second consecutive year, have already proved their worth as they defeated Malawi 1-0 in the 2021 final.

For Botswana, they have improved tremendously having reached the last eight of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) but exited after a 2-1 loss to hosts Morocco.

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On paper, Comoros are the only lowly ranked team in the group but they have also improved a lot in recent years.

Overall winner in each group will advance to the semi-finals of Cosafa Cup and they will be joined by the best runner-up.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) named Thom Mkolongo as coach for the Scorchers with Andrew Chikhosi and Abasi Makawa as first and second assistant respectively.

Both Mkolongo and Chikhosi were not readily available for their reactions yesterday.

The team is expected to start camp tomorrow in Lilongwe ahead of the competition.

However, for the second consecutive year, the Scorchers will be without China based duo of Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga due to club commitments.

But Mkolongo has a pool of talented players. National Women’s Football Association (NWFA) chairperson Suzgo Ngwira described it a tough group.

“This is a tough group but we are going to go through. We have a good team,” Ngwira said.

Group A comprises hosts and African champions South Africa, Angola, Mauritius and Mozambique whereas Group B has Zambia, Namibia, Lesotho and eSwatini.

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