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Scorchers return after worst showing

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Malawi Women’s National Football Team returns home from the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with nothing to show.

In three matches, Malawi registered just one win, one loss and a draw.

The Scorchers started the Cosafa Women’s Championship with a 1-1 stalemate against Botswana before thrashing minnows Comoros 6-0 in the second match.

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Malawi finally saw their semifinal dreams go up in smoke following a 3-1 loss to Tanzania.

Last year, they also lost 1-0 to the same team in the final.

If this year’s performance is anything to go by, the Scorchers took two steps backwards.

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In 2021, Malawi started with a 2-1 loss to South Africa but managed to get victories over Mozambique 3-2 and Angola 2-0 to qualify as best runners-up with six points.

The Scorchers went on to register one of the competition’s major upsets, beating South Africa 3-2 in the semifinals.

A 1-0 final loss to Tanzania followed, but with many positives.

Two players Asimenye Simwaka and Ireen Khumalo were named in the Cosafa select squad with former coach MacNerbert Kazuwa making it as the coach.

Madyina Ngulube managed a place among the substitutes.

Two years ago, the Scorchers reached the semifinals of the competition but lost 6-2 to South Africa.

Despite the humiliating loss to South Africa, the team qualified for the semifinals as group winners with six points from two matches following 1-0 and 9-0 victories over Zambia and Lesotho, respectively.

The Scorchers have indeed been a big disappointment after failing to replicate last year’s performance.

Honestly, the Scorchers made life difficult for themselves after missing several chances in the opening match against Botswana.

This should serve as a lesson. The team should learn to finish off opponents in such important matches.

It is also time for coach Lovemore Fazili to clear some dead wood in the squad which has players who are ageing and losing form.

In future competitions, Fazili and his back room staff should be given ample time to select players on merit. The goalkeeping position is one of the areas which need serious attention.

For the past five years, the Scorchers have failed to find a number one goalkeeper as the majority of those selected have failed to rise to the occasion.

Civil Service United Ladies coach Collins Pofera said the Scorchers’ selection process leaves a lot to be desired.

“We have several good goalkeepers but we focus much on the same players every year. We need to give a chance to some of the goalkeepers that our doing well in our competitions,” Pofera said.

Surely, the Scorchers should hang their heads as this was their worst showing in three Cosafa Cup consecutive editions.

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