Malawi women’s national football team yesterday advanced to the second round of Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifiers with a 3-0 second-leg victory over Mozambique at Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto in Maputo.
The win means Malawi have sailed through on a 14-1 aggregate following their 11-1 triumph in the first leg at home last Thursday and will meet Kenya in September.
Yesterday, usual suspects the Chawinga sisters, China-based Tabitha and Sweden-based Temwa, alongside Sabina Thom were on the prowl, scoring a goal apiece.
According to updates on FA Malawi Twitter account, Mozambique were a much improved side compared to the first-leg as they created the better chances and put Malawi under-pressure in the first half.
They searched for an early goal, but Malawi frustrated their efforts with a solid defence marshalled by Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda.
Towards the end of the first half, Malawi started gaining momentum as they won five corner-kicks that could not be turned into goals. Cometh the 51st minute, cometh the woman as Temwa drew first blood. Then came her elder sister and captain Tabitha with the second in the 72nd minute before Thom added the third 10 minutes later.
Malawi coach Abel Mkandawire hailed his charges for sticking to their game plan.
“It is important for our country that we have progressed to another round,” he said. “In the first half, I told my players to just hold the Mozambicans but go flat-out in the second half and it worked.”
However, he admitted that the progress to the next round means they need to engage an extra gear in preparation for a tougher opponent Kenya who boast of six overseas-based professionals.
Four of their players Corazon Aquino, Teresha Engesha, Mary Kinuthia and Christine Nafula turn out for Swedish outfits while Marjolene Nekesa and Esse Akida play in the United States and Israel, respectively.