Malawi Women’s National Football Team has received a timely boost ahead of its Cosafa Women’s Championship opener against Zambia in Zimbabwe Wednesday.
Europe-based defender Chisomo Kazisonga and striker Tabitha Chawinga joined the She- Flames on Monday to make it a full house ahead of the game scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.
The Austria-based Kazisonga plays for second Bundesliga side, Altera Porta, whereas Chawinga has joined from Knarsveden IK of Sweden.
Chawinga joined the squad after enduring some travel hitches in Harare on Monday, Football Association of Malawi General Secretary, Alfred Gunda, confirmed.
“The two are now with the squad ready for the encounter. Of course, Tabitha faced some problems connecting to Bulawayo from Harare but everything is under control,” he said.
Malawi’s group also comprises Madagascar and the holders Zimbabwe, tough opponents that the She-Flames should be wary of.
Now the ball is in the court of Malawi Coach, Stuart Mbolembole, to make the most of his 20-member squad.
“It is a very tough group because only one team will qualify for the semi-finals. This game [against Zambia] will decide our fate. A win will put us in contention whereas a loss will mean that we are out of the race,” Mbolembole said in a telephone interview on Monday.
Mbolembole has included in the squad promising players such as Fatsireni Kazembe (Skippers FC), Patricia Nyirenda (Ntopwa Super Queens), Eluby Bottoman, Sabinnah Thom (all DD Sunshine), Chikondi Gondwe (CY Sisters), Pilirani Malora, Lucy Chiumia (both Blantyre Zero), Shira Dimba (Skippers FC), Temwa Chawinga and Mary Chavinda.
Zambia have been billed as among favourites following the team’s previous record having finished on third position on two previous occasions.
Zambia Coach, Albert Kachinga, has selected youthful squad, including 17-year-old forward Barbra Banda.