In a bird to catch a worm earlier, Malawi women’s national football team coach McNelbert Kazuwa has told his troops to go flat out when facing Lesotho in Group B at this year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship at Wolfson Stadium this afternoon.
For two consecutive editions, the Scorchers have had mixed fortunes in the championship in Nelson Mandela Bay after losing the 2018 opener 2-0 to Botswana but started the 2019 campaign with a 2-1 victory over Madagascar.
But this afternoon, the Scorchers must not underrate Lesotho who lost their opening match to tournament’s favourites Zambia 8-0 at the same venue.
Kazuwa is full of confidence that his charges were psychologically ready for the showdown.
“I have faith in the players that they will deliver. My message for them was very simple, we need to start the Cosafa Cup with a win so that we increase our chances of reaching the semifinals,” he said.
The former assistant women’s national team coach has warned his players not to underrate Lesotho.
“We do not underrate any team at this level because you can be shocked. We know why we are here and what we want to do,” he added.
The Scorchers will wrap up Group B campaign against Zambia on Monday at the same venue.
Only group winner will advance to the semifinals and they will be joined by the overall best runner-up.
It has been nine years since Malawi made it past the group stages of the Cosafa Cup. However, the Scorchers are in high spirits as China-based Chawinga sisters, Tabitha and Temwa, are expected to lead the attack in this year’s competition having missed the last three tournaments due to club commitments.
Tabitha said time has come for them to make history in this year’s campaign.
“It is not only about Tabitha and Temwa but team work. We have several good players in the team who have winning mentality,” the Scorchers captain said.
Apart from Tabitha and Temwa, Malawi will rely on Asimenye Simwaka, Madyina Nguluwe, Salome Vinkhumbo and Sabina Thom. Samir Amidu or Mercy Sikelo will be between the sticks in today’s match.
On the part of Lesotho, they are likely to make changes from the squad that lost their opening Group B match.
Malawi nearly made it to the semifinals last year after finishing second with six points. The were however eliminated after Zambia and Botswana drew 0-0 as Rachael Nachura missed a spot kick in controversial circumstances.
Zambia top group B with 3 three points after 8-0 victory over Lesotho.