Malawi women football national team yesterday thrashed Comoros Island 13-0 in their last Group A match at Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to bolster their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals of Cosafa Women’s Championship.
Their fate will be known today after the outcome of the last Group B encounter between Zambia and Botswana.
Malawi, who have a 13-goal difference, are hoping that Group B leaders Zambia should beat second-placed Botswana to qualify as best losers having finished second to defending champions South Africa’s Banyana Banyana in Group A with six points.
Zambia and Botswana also have six points each, but the Shepolopolo have a better goal difference of 16 while Botswana has four.
Malawi are also praying that the encounter should not end in a draw as that would wipe off their chances as the two Group B sides would tie on seven points and progress as group winners and best losers.
Yesterday, striker Linda Kasenda was the heroine of the day as she bagged nine goals to win the player-of-the-match accolade. Asimenye Simwaka, Sabina Thom and substitute Zainab Kapanda added a gloss to the emphatic victory with a hat-trick, a brace and a strike, respectively.
Malawi coach Abel Mkandawire said he was more than satisfied to see that his charges played according to plan.
“Our target was to score not less than 10 goals and we are happy to have achieved the feat. We played attacking football from the first whistle and we could have even scored 20, but we missed a lot of chances,” he said.
The rampant Malawi side enjoyed 54 percent of ball possession and scored for fun as they nearly matched Banyana Banyana’s historic 17-0 triumph over Comoros last week.
Simwaka opened the score-sheet in the 16th minute before banging home her second a minute later. Then Kasenda grabbed the limelight with quick goals in the 30th, 42nd and 43rd minutes while Thom added a flourish to Malawi’s excellent display with a simple finish in the 40th minute for the first half to end 6-0.
Malawi also started the second half with all guns blazing with Thom scoring her second goal of the match in the 47th minute. Kasenda rose to haunt the Islanders again a minute later with her fourth goal before increasing her tally six in the 69th, six in the 77th, eighth in the 88th and nine in the final minute. Zainab Kapanda also came to the party with a strike in the 75th minute.
“It feels great to emerge player-of-the-match, but the most important thing is that we have plucked an emphatic victory that put us on the right track to semi-final qualification,” Kasenda said.
Malawi goalkeeper Samir Amidu, who passed a late fitness test after picking a knock in a match against South Africa’s Banyana Banyana last Friday, appeared to be on holiday for almost the entire game as Comoros hardly had a shot on target.