Malawi National Women’s Football Team coach Andrew Chikhosi says they have put behind their loss to hosts and defending champions South Africa in their opener of the 2021 Cosafa Women’s Championship and hope to win against Mozambique this afternoon.
Following a 2-1 defeat by South Africa’s Banyana Banyana on Tuesday, the scorchers must beat Mozambique at Nelson Mandela University Stadium and Angola in their last Group A fixture on Monday to have a realistic chance of progressing to the semi-finals as group winners.
Said Chikhosi: “We could have done better against South Africa. However, that is now water under the bridge as we have worked on our shortfalls and we are in this Friday’s [today] game against Mozambique.”
Currently, the Scorchers anchor their four-team group with no point. South Africa lead the pack with three points while Mozambique and Angola are second and third, respectively, with a single point apiece after settling for a two-all draw in their opening match.
But Chikhosi is optimistic, saying Malawi’s statistical advantage over Mozambique is too good to be ignored and that they are hungry for victory.
When the Scorchers and Mozambique clashed in their last two meetings, Malawi triumphed 11-1 (first leg) and 3-0 (second leg) during the Tokyo Olympics qualifying matches in 2019.
But National Women’s Football Association (NWFA) chairperson Suzgo Ngwira yesterday said it would be a folly for the Scorchers to underrate Mozambique.
“The fact that they drew against Angola and managed to score two goals is enough proof that Mozambique have improved a lot. We need to treat them as any serious title contenders if we are to get the much-needed three points,” she said.
The Scorchers trained at Old Grey Ground on Wednesday morning and held their last training yesterday at the match venue.
In the last Cosafa edition, Malawi reached the semi-finals for the first time in nine years after beating giants such as Zambia’s Copper Queens in the group stages. But the team failed to reach the final after losing their last-four battle 6-2 against South Africa.