It doesn’t get any sweeter than this.
Malawian women’s football star Tabitha Chawinga has inspired her Chinese Superleague outfit Jiangsu Suning to the 2019 league title with two games to spare.
This follows their 5-0 victory over Guangdong on Wednesday, which took their tally to 33 points, 10 above second-placed Shanghai who were held to a goalless draw by Beijing.
Chawinga scored the second goal for Jiangsu Suning to take her tally to 11 and keep herself on course to retain the Golden Boot Award as her closest contender is two goals shy.
“I am happy that we have won the league title in my second season after finishing as runners-up last season
“When Jiangsu bought me from Sweden last season, they made it clear that they wanted me to help them win the league.
“So, even after winning four personal accolades last season, there was still something special that was missing and it was the league. I thank God that we have achieved that,” she said in an interview yesterday.
Her team is also on course to sweep all silverware.
“Apart from the league title, we also won two cups and we are in the finals of the last cup. So, it has been an amazing season so far,” said Chawinga.
On her 25-goal target for the season, the Malawi national women’s football team captain admitted that it looks a tall order.
“I have 11 and we only have two games to go. It means I might not even beat my last season’s 17-goal record.
“But the solace is that in total, I have scored 30 goals so far this season. I scored 15 in the League Cup and nine in the Women’s Championship Tournament,” she said.
Surprisingly, last season’s champions Dalian face relegation as they anchor the eight-team log table.
“They had some internal problems, including the arrest of the club owner, so it has been really tough for them,” said the 23-year-old prolific forward.
Jiangsu Suning have only lost one league game so far.
National women’s football team assistant coach Andrew ‘Aluki’ Chikhosi said Chawinga has been the hub of her team’s success.
“She continues to underline her credentials as one of the best female players in the world and with the improvement of the national team, it will not take long before she is a serious contender for Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year Award,” he said.
For the past two years, Chawinga has been nominated for the continental award.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu yesterday said the local soccer governing body is happy that Chawinga continues to hoist Malawi’s flag high and that her performances surpasses expectations.
“She has proved to be a star performer and is our beacon of hope that Malawi women’s football has a bright future. When we see such talent, we get motivated that we have a very good chance of qualifying for the Women’s World Cup if we continue to support our women,” he said Chawinga has been a prolific scorer both in domestic and foreign leagues since her professional football debut with Swedish league side Kvarnsveden IK in 2014.