Women’s football exports Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga arrived home yesterday and joined national women’s football team camp in Blantyre ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers first-leg against Mozambique on April 4.
The two sisters, who arrived through Chileka Airport before travelling to Kamuzu Stadium to watch the national team’s strength-testing match against Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) Division One side Kings United, said they are ready to make the country proud with their goal-scoring prowess.
“My target is to help the national team beat Mozambique by as many goals as possible so as to let the world know that there is women football in Malawi,” said Tabitha, the net-buster for Chinese top league side Jiangsu Sunning.
On her part, Temwa, who plays for Swedish second tier league side Kvarnsvedens IK, said: “I have gained a lot of experience after playing in Europe for a year now. I would like to apply the new techniques I have gained in the game against Mozambique.”
National team coach Abel Mkandawire said it is a big boost to have the free-scoring sisters in his squad, describing them as a solution to Malawi’s scoring struggles.
“Whenever the national team has the two sisters up front, we are always assured of goals and their release is a big relief for us,” he said.
The Chawinga sisters last featured for the national team at the 2017 Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women’s Championships.
In that competition, Tabitha was the competition’s second best scorer with eight goals, two goals behind eventual Golden winner Rutendo Makore of Zimbabwe.
During the 2018 Cosafa edition, Malawi only scored two goals in three matches and the Chawinga sisters’ absence, due to club commitments, was greatly felt.
Then Malawi lost 0-2 to Botswana and won by a similar margin against Madagascar. They also suffered a 0-6 defeat by South Africa.
Tabitha, who won the 2018 Women Footballer of the Year and Golden Boot Award in China with 17 goals, is so far leading the scorers’ chart in the 2019 Chinese National Women Championship with 12 goals in four games. n