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Malawi set up Banyana date


Malawi . . .(1) 5
Lesotho . . .(1) 2

Malawi confounded expectations by hammering Lesotho 5-2 at Rufaro on Tuesday to seal second place in Group B of the Cosafa Women’s Championships and a place in the semi-finals where they will meet favourites South Africa on Thursday.

Malawi got their goals through a brace by Thabita Chawinga and further goals by Maggie Chombo and Bridget Mkuziele before substitute Patricia Sinjani put the icing on the cake with the fifth goal.

Lesotho got their consolation goals through a brace by the pint-sized crowd favourite Boitumelo Rabale. Speaking after the match, Malawi’s head coach Richard Chipungu said:

“I’m glad we managed to reach the semis. Lesotho had a better chance going into the match as they only needed a draw while we needed a victory, but we managed to turn it around in the second half.

“The match with the South Africans is going to be a cracker. They are the defending champions and they won’t let the title go easily, but we will fight on until the last minute as we did today.”

Lesotho coach Carlos Manuel however blamed his team’s defeat on his players’ lack of exposure at this level of the game.

“This is a developmental team and these girls have never been to a tournament like this one, let alone play anywhere outside Lesotho, but it was a good show from them despite the defeat,” Manuel said.

Lesotho went into the match needing only a draw to qualify for the semis as they had three points while Malawi had a single point and their plan seemed well on course when the two teams went to the breather deadlocked 1-1.

However, the more experienced Malawians came back from the breather fired up, using their stronger physique to outmuscle the young Lesotho team, who had won the support of the neutrals because of their exciting brand of passing football.

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