Malawi national women’s football team goes into this afternoon’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers first round second leg against Mozambique comfortably leading 11-1, but the team has vowed to continue from where it stopped.
National women football team captain Tabitha Chawinga yesterday said their eyes are fixed on plucking another emphatic conquest in Maputo to affirm their capabilities and earn a much better rise on the next Fifa women football rankings where they are currently on 145, two steps behind Mozambique.
She said although the odds favour them to progress to the next round, they are still determined to score as many goals as possible in Mozambique.
“After our historic victory at home, some people still doubt our capabilities. Now, we are going to Mozambique to further prove our potential,” said the striker who turns out for China women football league outfit Jiangsu Sunning.
She added that they will start the second-leg afresh as if the first-leg ended goalless.
On his part, national team coach Abel Mkandawire said their target is to frustrate their hosts with early goals.
“The pressure is on Mozambique to reverse their heavy defeat in the first-leg and we know they will come hard on us. We will take advantage of this to punish them on the counter-attacks,” he said.
On the attack, Mkandawire banks hopes on the forwards Tabitha, her Sweden-based younger sister Temwa, Linda Kasenda and Wezzie Mvula. During the first-leg, Tabitha scored a hat-trick and had six assists while Temwa notched five goals. Kasenda managed a brace as Mvula hit once.
Mozambique has the likes of Isabel Jorge, who scored the extra-time consolation goal, Albertina Pndja and Amelia Banze.
If they progress to the next round, Malawi will take on Kenya, which is ranked 138, in September this year. If they beat Kenya, they would be on the war path with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon or Ghana.
The women national team is Malawi football’s last hope of qualifying for an international competition this year after the men’s senior Flames and the Under-23 national team were recently booted out of the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, respectively.