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She-Flames back home

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By Mphatso Malidadi:

MKANDAWIRE— I will do my best

Malawi women’s national football team Coach, Abel Mkandawire, has appealed for more friendlies to strengthen the team to book a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Mkandawire’s troops trounced Mozambique 14-1 on aggregate to advance to the next round of qualifiers.

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Malawi won the first leg 11-1 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre last week before burying the Lady- Mambas 3-0 at Zimpeto National Stadium in Mozambique.

Malawi will host Kenya on August 26 before an away tie set for September 1.

Mkandawire said it was too early to celebrate Malawi’s impressive showing in the competition as it does not guarantee them a place at the tournament.

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“As it is, I will like the team to have some international friendlies.

This will help a lot in maintaining the players and the whole squad in terms of performance. We need to play regularly as it helps the team to gel and players to understand the pattern of play. Staying idle for a long time is not healthy for the squad,” he said.

During the return leg, the first half ended goalless, forcing Mkandawire to make a double substitution

“We put up a gallant fight in the first half because we managed to frustrate them to avoid conceding in the first half. We knew the best way to defend was to attack; so, we managed to hit them in the second half. We made some changes by introducing Linda Kasenda for Fanny Mwale and then Zainab Kapanda replaced Wezzie Mvula,” he said.

Mkandawire also hailed goalkeeper Samir Amidu and versatile defender Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda for spirited performances to help the She-Flames keep a clean sheet.

The Chawinga sisters, Tabitha and Temwa, were on song again after spearheading Malawi’s win. Temwa put Malawi ahead before her elder sister Tabitha extended the lead. Sabina Thom got into the act too by scoring Malawi’s third goal.

Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President, Walter Nyamilandu, has said the players must not let the pace sag.

“First and foremost, we must keep up the momentum by ensuring that the players actively participate in local league games. We will explore possibilities of a friendly before [playing] Kenya,” he said.

Nyamilandu said, even though the women’s league was on off-season, it was possible to kick off the league before August.

During the first leg, Temwa hammered five goals, with Tabitha scoring a hat-trick. Kasenda scored a brace while Mvula netted once.

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