Malawi National Women’s Football Team, the Scorchers, yesterday edged Angola 2-0 at Nelson Mandela University Stadium in South Africa in the Cosafa Women’s Championship to finish as Group A runners-up.
But the team’s prospects of proceeding to the semi-finals as best runners-up depend on neighbours Zambia who face guest side Uganda in a Group C match this afternoon.
If Uganda beat Zambia, they will finish as group winners while Zambia will qualify as best runners-up since they have a better goal difference.
But if Zambia win, they will finish as Group winners and Malawi will qualify as best runners-up. The two-sides will then meet in the semi-finals.
It is a repeat of the 2018 situation in which the Scorchers also had to wait for a match between the two teams and ended up blaming Zambia for giving away the match in order to avoid them.
Scorchers assistant coach McNelbert Kazuwa said they will have to wait and see what happens next.
Yesterday, Malawi made two changes in squad that faced South Africa’s Banyana Banyana and Mozambique last week.
Goalkeeper Ruth Mhango replaced Samir Amidu while Limbikani Chikupira started in place of Zainab Kapanda, who was serving two yellow cards.
Unlike in the first two matches against South Africa and Mozambique in which Malawi conceded early goals, this time there was some discipline at the back.
The Scorchers were also better going forward from the central midfield where captain Madyina Nguluwe pulled the strings while Asimenye Simwaka orchestrated play from the wings.
Simwaka had a couple of chances which were all thwarted by an alert Angolan goalkeeper.
After a stalemate in the first-half, the Scorchers finally hit the target in the 69th minute.
After missing two good chances, Chikupira got it right, firing past the Angola ‘keeper.
Scorchers captain Madyina doubled the lead in the 81st minute.
Kazuwa was over the moon following the team’s victory.
He said: “I am very impressed with the way the players have delivered. We anticipated that the Angolans would come in a tricky way. We saw them play South Africa and Mozambique.
“We are happy that we beat them. The victory gives us much confidence. Even the players that we brought in as replacements played very well.”
Angola coach Sousa Garcia said the Scorchers deserved the victory.
He said: “Congratulations to Malawi. I think we didn’t start the game well. I think it was due to fatigue. We didn’t have outings on the bench. I think Malawi are a little bit stronger physically than us.”
South Africa, who beat Mozambique in the group’s other match, have made it to the semi-finals as the pool’s winners after collecting seven points while Scorchers have six points.