Malawi Under-17 National Netball Team face South Africa in the final of the Region 5 Youth Games today after finishing second in the qualifiers played on round robin format in Maseru, Lesotho.
The Junior Queens sealed their final qualification by beating Zambia 43-32 on Tuesday.
In a post-match interview, coach Carol Mtukule-Ngwira said the win over Zambia gave her charges a boost ahead of the final.
She said: “We needed this win and the girls stood up to be counted.
“Now we have to switch focus to the final match. Of course, the odds favour South Africa because they beat us by a wide margin on Tuesday, but we won’t give up.
“We will prepare well for them. We are determined to win gold”
On Tuesday s match monitored on Lesotho Netball Association live television, the Junior Queens led 13-6 in the first quarter. They were 22-16 up at half time.
At the end of third quarter, the Malawi led 33-22 before playing out a 10-all draw in the last quarter to win 43-32.
This was Malawi’s third win at the five-team regional tournament after beating hosts Lesotho 40-20 in their first match and Botswana 82-15 in their second assignment.
However, they lost to South Africa 42-27 in their third match on Tuesday.
In the starting line-up, the Junior Queens had goalkeeper Chikumbutso Chisambi, goal defender Hope Mndala, wing defender Chimwemwe Chigunde, centre Marrieta Harrison, wing attacker Grace Ngalonde, goal attacker Relie Banda and goal shooter Stella Matelezi.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Under-17 National Football Team was booted out of the Games, which are doublimg as Cosafa Youth Championship, after losing to Zambia 3-1 in the semi-finals.
Joseph Banda claimed a brace for Zambia while Mathews Banda scored the other goal. Blessings Kanowa from Walter Nyamilandu Academy netted the Junior Flames’ consolation goal
The Junior Flames qualified for the semis without winning a game, having been held to a one-all draw by Botswana in their first match before going down 4-2 to Angola in their second match on Sunday.