By Mabvuto Kambuwe In Port Elizabeth, Rsa:
Malawi women’s national football team players ran riot in their last group match of the Cosafa Women’s Championship with a 13-0 routing of Comoros Islands at Gelvandale Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, South Africa, Monday.
The result saw Malawi join South Africa and Zambia as the top three highest scoring teams at the regional tournament.
Banyana Banyana are the highest scoring team after thumping Comoros 17-0 in their first game while Zambia thrashed Mauritius 15-1.
The victory means the She-Flames have finished their Group A assignments on second position with six points from three games behind South Africa who advanced to the semifinals as group leaders with nine points after beating Madagascar 3-0.
Monday’s result took Malawi’s goal tally to 16 against three in three games.
But despite the massive victory, Malawi will have to wait for the conclusion of Group B and C matches to know their fate.
Of particular interest to the She-Flames would be Monday’s match between Zimbabwe and eSwatini which the former won 7-0 and today’s encounter involving Zambia and Botswana.
Organisers would also have to consider results of the two games to determine which team advances to the last four as best losers.
In the match against Comoros, Malawi responded perfectly coming from Friday’s 3-1 loss to South Africa.
Veteran striker Linda Kasenda led the onslaught with a fantastic performance as she hammered eight goals with Asimenye Simwaka and Sabina Thom scoring a brace each whereas substituté Zainab Kapanda netted once.
Kasenda is now the joint top goal scorer with Zambian Rachael Nachura.
It took 16 minutes for Malawi to open the flood gates through Simwaka, who beat Comoros goalkeeper Matina Mohamed from close range.
A minute later, Simwaka completed her brace before Kasenda increased the tally after 30 minutes.
The She-Flames were not yet done as Sabina Thom added the fourth with a clever finish. Kasenda scored two quick goals before the break to rest the scores at 6-0 as the two teams went for pep talk.
In the second half, Malawi continued from where they left as they scored seven more goals.
Sabina Thom scored the seventh goal from the spot two minutes after resumption while Kasenda added the eighth a minute later.
Kasenda returned with another goal in the 61st minute, followed by Kapanda’s strike four minutes later.
Malawi wrapped up the match with Kasenda’s two goals in the 88th and 90th minutes.
Kasenda was deservedly named Player-of-the- Match.
Just like in previous matches, Comoros never provided a real threat to Malawi as they sat too deep. Hayat Hassani and Farida Nadia were some of thé best players for the islanders but their efforts did not pay off.
She-Flames Coach, Abel Mkandawire, said he was pleased with the players’ performance.
“I am happy with the performance of the players. They showed great character to win with such a big margin coming from a loss. This is the first time for us to score 13 goals in a single game and we can do even better,” Mkandawire said.