Malawi women football national team yesterday came from behind to force a 3-3 draw with hosts and defending champions Zimbabwe during their final Group A match of the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women’s Cup.
However, the latest result at Luveve Stadium in Bulawayo was not enough for both sides to progress to the last-four stage as Zambia secured the only slot from the group with an emphatic 7-1 triumph over Madagascar.
Zambia have completed their group matches at the summit with seven points from three games. They are followed by Zimbabwe on five points and Malawi on four points. Madagascar anchor the table with no point.
Yesterday, it was the usual suspects Sweden-based Tabitha Chawinga and her younger sister Temwa, who rescued Malawi from the jaws of defeat with a strike and a brace, respectively.
Rutendo Makore drew first blood for Zimbabwe in the 22nd minute before scoring her second goal of the match eight minutes later. Temwa reduced the arrears for Malawi in the 36th minute for the first half to end 2-1.
Zimbabwe upped their game and increased the tally to 3-1 in the 56th minute as Makore grabbed a hat-trick. However, Malawi rose to the occasion to score their second goal through Temwa before Tabitha restored parity with three minutes remaining on the clock.
Despite Malawi’s exit from the tournament, captain Tabitha still remains a contender for the golden boot with eight goals, having scored a hat-rick in the opener against Zambia and four goals against Madagascar. Temwa has four goals.
Malawi coach Stuart Mbolembole said he was satisfied with the overall performance of the team.
“All I can say is, we are happy with the overall performance of the girls; there were a lot of improvements in terms of the technicalities of the game. We have learnt a lesson or two and I hope we will be much better in our next international games,” he said. n