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Thrashed out

She-Flames miss Olympic Games train

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Malawi women’s national football team has crashed out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifiers after losing 3-0 to Kenya at Machakos Stadium in Nairobi Sunday.

The She-Flames have bowed out on a 5-3 aggregate, having won the first leg 3-2 at Kamuzu Stadium on Wednesday last week.

The match was played behind closed doors as the venue was banned by Confederation of African Football because of its poor condition.

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The continental football governing body temporarily lifted the ban on condition that there would be no spectators.

But Malawi failed to take advantage of the situation and opted to disappoint when expectations were high back home.

Not even the highly-rated Chawinga sisters—Tabitha and Temwa—could come to the rescue of the hopeless She- Flames.

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Kenya scored in the 19th minute of the first half through Cynthia Shilwatso to lead 1-0 at half time.

In the second half, Mwanahalima Adam scored a brace to shatter Malawi’s dreams of progressing to meet Ghana in the third round.

It was sweet revenge for Kenya as they overturned the narrow loss they suffered in Blantyre to book a date with the West Africans.

Malawi Coach, Abel Mkandawire, who stuck to the team that started against Kenya at Kamuzu Stadium, blamed the defence for letting in goals.

“We played very well but committed some mistakes at the back which Kenya took advantage of. We tried our best but our opponents were better. Our marking was not good. Kenya were fast on the ball and we could not stop them,” Mkandawire said.

China-based Tabitha said the loss should not result into changes in the team.

“The team should be maintained. Losing to Kenya does not mean we have a bad team. We just need to prepare thoroughly each time we enter competitions. Kenya have been playing friendlies for some time and it showed in their performance,” she said.

During the match, Mkandawire pulled out midfielder Salome Vinkhumbo for Asimenye Simwaka whereas Ruth Nyirongo went in for Maureen Phiri.

Malawi reached this phase after knocking out Mozambique 14-1 on aggregate in April.

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