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She-Flames hoping for miracle in Zimbabwe

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THE Malawi women’s national football team, the She-Flames, have a mammoth task of fighting for a place in the semifinals of the on-going Cosafa Women’s Championship as they face hosts and defending champions, Zimbabwe, at Luveve Stadium in Bulawayo this afternoon.

The She-Flames, led by freescoring Sweden-based striker, Tabitha Chawinga, and her younger sister, Temwa, gave themselves some hope of reaching the semis after beating struggling Madagascar 6-3 on Friday. Malawi are now hoping for a miracle as they need to beat Zimbabwe and at the same time hope that Zambia are held by Madagascar.

Both Zimbabwe and Zambia, before drawing their encounter later on Friday, had won their opening games and have four points each. They are only separated by goal difference. Malawi lie third in the group with three points from two games.

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Speaking in a telephone interview ahead of the do-or-die encounter, Malawi Coach, Stewart Mbolembole, admitted that it was a difficult mission considering their opponents’ record in the tournament.

“But that does not mean that we will sit back and just wait for them to hit us. In football, anything can happen. We just need to tighten our defence. Otherwise, our striking force is terrific,” Mbolembole said.

True to Mbolembole’s words, the She-Flames have conceded nine goals in their two games while scoring nine at the same time.

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Tabitha has been instrumental to the team’s success -scoring a hat-trick in Malawi’s 3-6 defeat to Zambia and four goals when Malawi beat Madagascar.

The other two goals in the Madagascar match came from her equally lively younger sister, Temwa.

In contrast, Zimbabwe’s frontline has scored five goals in two games with the defence letting in just a goal. Malawi’s defenders appear sloppy and sluggish and are at times caught napping.

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