Blantyre Zero have won the inaugural Football Association of Malawi National Women’s Championship after beating DD Sunshine 3-1 on Sunday at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Played in cool weather and watched by an impressive crowd, including Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda, the action on the ground did not disappoint.
Mary Chavinda scored two goals in the first half to help Blantyre Zero take the lead.
DD Sunshine reorganised themselves after recess and defused the pressure with Wezzie Mvula, Chisomo Banda and Gladys Banda at the centre of the attacks.
They forced two corner-kicks in the first 10 minutes of the second half as Blantyre Zero retreated.
The Lilongwe giants deservedly pulled one back in the 58th minute through Gladys Banda.
The goal jerked Blantyre Zero into reality to reorganise themselves.
Chavinda nearly scored a hat-trick in the 68th minute, but shot wide from close range a Pilirani Malola cross.
Blantyre Zero made it 3-1 in the 76th minute through Vanessa Chikupila, who scored from the spot-kick after sending goalkeeper Ruth Mvula the wrong way. The penalty came after playmaker Zainab Kapanda was fouled in the box.
DD Sunshine coach Andrew Chikhosi admitted in a post-match interview that they were outplayed.
“After those two goals in the first half, we lost rhythm and were not in the game. We tried to make a comeback in the second half, but we just could not sustain the pressure. We were not in form today,” he said.
On her part, Blantyre Zero coach Maggie Chombo, who was voted best coach of the tournament, applauded her players’ effort.
“It was an exceptional performance and I am proud of my players. It’s a really sweet victory. We played well and deserved the victory,” she said.
National Women’s Football Association president Suzgo Ngwira described the tournament as a success.
“You can see the kind of football that we witnessed. The enthusiasm and top organised play from the teams. Women’s football is making progress. We are moving in the right direction. It’s been a huge success,” said Ngwira.
In third place playoffs, Skippers beats Ascent Academy 2-1 in a lunchtime game.