The Malawi Women’s National Football Team and Zambia renew their rivalry when they face each other in the 2023 Hollywoodbets Cosafa Women’s Championship final at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atridgeville Township, Pretoria, South Africa this afternoon.
After losing 1-0 to Tanzania in their maiden appearance in the Cosafa Cup final in 2021, the Scorchers will be hoping for a second time lucky.
There is a lot at stake between the two neighbours in this year’s final.
The Scorchers want it more while the Copper Queens will be looking to defend the Cosafa title they won last year after beating South Africa 1-0 in Port Elizabeth.
This is the first time Malawi and Zambia are meeting in the battle for gold.
However, the two countries are no stranger to each other having met on several occasions in all competitions.
Malawi and Zambia last met during the 2020 group stage of the Cosafa Cup in which the Scorchers triumphed 1-0 courtesy of Temwa Chawinga’s goal.
Head coach Lovemore Fazili believes the Scorchers have all what it takes to win gold this year.
“The game will be tough against Zambia but we must win the match to win the cup. We are taking the match seriously and our approach will be the same to score more goals. We have no time to give Zambia respect and they should not underrate us,” said Fazili.
All the players took part in Saturday’s training session ahead of the final.
Fazili is likely to make some changes to the starting lineup that featured against Mozambique in the semifinal.
Captain Temwa Chawinga, who is looking for double glory as she leads the top goal scorers’ chart, said they are ready for a big showdown.
“We have to maintain our fighting spirit as we meet Zambia in the final. We have played four games and we are abit tired but we will work hard to win the match,” said Chawinga.
The Wuhan Jiangda striker has scored nine goals from four matches and is three goals away from equaling Noko Motlou’s record of 12 goals in single edition.
However, Chawinga can join Barbara Banda, Rachael Nachula ( both Zambia) and Rutendo Makore on 10 goals in a single edition if she finds the back of the net in today’s match.
The Scorchers booked a final berth after coming from behind to beat Mozambique 2-1 at the same venue o Friday while Zambia defeated Zimbabwe 1-0 .
Both teams are undefeated in this year’s Cosafa Cup in four matches having also finished top in their respective groups.
Malawi is the only team with 100 percent record having finished Group A with nine points from three matches while Zambia won two matches and a draw.
The Scorchers beat South Africa’s BanyanaBanyana 4-3 in the opening match before registering 8-0 victory over eSwatini. They wrapped up Group stage with 3-1 victory over Madagascar.