By Mphatso Malidadi
Malawi Girls Under-17 National Football Team recovered from their poor start when they stormed into the semifinals of the Cosafa Youth Championship with a 12-0 demolition of Namibia at Bingu National Stadium Monday.
The junior Scorchers will face Zambia in the semifinals Wednesday.
In a case of anything you can do I can do it better, the junior Scorchers not only emulated their male counterparts to reach the finals, but they did it better, with a cricket scoreline to make it into the last four.
After losing to South Africa 4-1 on Thursday, the junior Scorchers knew that nothing but a win would guarantee them a semifinal slot.
Malawi took the lead in the first half through Rose Kabzere’s strike but they missed several chances in this half to finish off their counterparts.
However, the floodgates opened in the second half when the hosts scored 11 more goals.
Kabzere scored five goals while substitute Faith Chinzimu scored five goals.
Chikondi Mgodi, Leticia Chinyamula and Annah Baziliyo scored a goal each as the junior Scorchers advanced to the semifinals.
Malawi Under-17 Coach Trevor Kajawa said there was no need to relax as they were focussing on their game against Zambia.
“I can say the team was hurriedly assembled. We were in camp for a month but the girls are improving with each passing game. We don’t need to be complacent after defeating Namibia because it will be a different game against Zambia,” he said.
His Namibian counterpart said her charges lost concentration in the second half.
“We were ready for the Malawians. In the first 45 minutes, we absorbed the pressure. We were looking to come back as a stronger team in the second half but lost concentration and opened the floodgates for Malawi. The moment Malawi started scoring, they gained confidence. Unfortunately, my girls could not contain the pressure and we got a result that we are not happy with, especially the scoreline,” she said.
The other semifinal will involve South Africa and Botswana.
The Cosafa Youth Championship is part of this year’s African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games underway in Lilongwe.