By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi women’s national football team have advanced to the second round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers having struggled to defeat Mozambique 3-0 in a return leg at Zimpeto National Stadium in Maputo Tuesday.
The Chawinga sisters, Temwa and Tabitha, together with Sabina Thom combined to score a goal each and guide Malawi to the next round.
Malawi have booked a tie against Kenya whom they host on August 26 before the return fixture set for September 1.
The She-Flames have progressed to the next round on 14-1 aggregate, having thrashed Mozambique 11-1 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Thursday.
Some fans were hoping for a repeat of a flood of goals but that was not to be. Whether it was complacency or change of tactics, what matters is that the She-Flames saw off their Mozambican counterparts.
During the return leg, Malawi Coach Abel Mkandawire, fully aware that a winning team does not change, stuck with the side that demolished Mozambique 11-1 at Kamuzu Stadium.
The Chawinga sisters started in attack whereas goalkeeper Samir Amidu guarded the posts.
Renowned all-rounder Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda marshaled the defence where she teamed up with Patricia Nyirenda, Maureen Phiri and Chimwemwe Madise whereas Sabina Thom, Wezzie Mvula, Fanny Mwale and Madyina Ngulube were maintained in midfield.
In the first half, Malawi started with a defensive approach as they played too deep but, after the half hour, they changed strategy to attack.
Sweden-based Temwa put Malawi ahead in the 51st minute to be the competition’s leading scorer within Caf zone with six goals having banged five times in the first leg.
Not to be outdone, Tabitha extended Malawi’s lead in the 72nd minute. Mozambique’s intention to salvage something from the game ended in disaster when Sabina Thom scored the last goal in the 82nd minute.
Mozambique were dealt a severe blow after one of their defenders was given marching orders following a foul on Tabitha in the 84th minute.
Mkandawire, in a brief response, said it was mission accomplished.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi Technical Director, John Kaputa, has landed the She-flames for outplaying Mozambique.
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