Under-20 aim for Zimbabwe scalp
Malawi women’s under-20 football team step onto the turf of the Barbourfields in Bulawayo with a mission to silence the hosts as the two sides face-off in the return leg of Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup this afternoon.
The two teams played out to a 1-1 draw at Kamuzu Stadium a fortnight ago.
But the Young Scorchers just need a draw of more than two goals to qualify to the next round whereas it is a must win for Zimbabwe.
On paper, the Young Scorchers are behind in women’s football achievements compared to the Young Mighty Warriors. However, the Young Scorchers have a pool of talent capable of causing an upset at any stage.
The Young Scorchers warmed up with a 1-0 loss to Zambia in Lusaka, on Tuesday and there is a great feeling in camp ahead of the match against Zimbabwe.
After the match against Zambia, assistant coach Kondwani Mwalweni said he was working on preparing the young girls psychologically.
“We have to work on few areas before we face Zimbabwe. Our focus was on building confidence among the players so that they can handle pressure. It will be an open game against Zimbabwe and we can come out victors,” he said.
Captain for the Young Scorchers, Zainab Kapanda was upbeat ahead of the clash.
“We need to finish off opponents when we find a chance. Everybody is geared for the match and we have rectified the mistakes we noted in the first leg. It was not easy for us to come from behind to force a draw in the first leg but we showed great character and we are determined to do well,” Kapanda said.
Kapanda will lead the team alongside Yamikani Mhango, Chikondi Dube, Chimwemwe Bonongwe and Chisomo Banda.
Zimbabwe under-20 coach, Rosemary Mugadza, told journalists in Blantyre that the draw was a fair result heading into the second leg.
On the part of the hosts, they have players such as Cynthia Shonga, Faith Chezhara, Sharon Teterai, Diana Ross Banda and Talent Bizeki.
Winner between Malawi and Zimbabwe will face Ethiopia or Burundi in the second round of the qualifiers.