Malawi women’s football team has no pressure to face the favorites and host South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, Malawi Sports can tell.
Their coach Abel Mkandawire says they are not intimidated to face the host in their second Group A match of the 2019 Cosafa Women’s Championship this afternoon.
This match will probably be Malawi’s biggest test at the southern Africa regional event as they need a victory over their bigger opponents to have a realistic chance of progressing to the semi-finals as the four-team group winners.
Nevertheless, She-Flames will have to wait until their last group match against the Comoros Island next Monday and keep their fingers crossed to make the grade as best losers across the three groups of the 12-team competition.
South Africa took ultimate glory in their last six editions and are fresh from competing at the Women’s Cup in France, beat Malawi in the last meeting 6-0.
On Wednesday, the hosts had a massive start when they thrashed the Comoros Island 17-0 and it not only the biggest victory in the Cosafa Women’s Championship, but also South Africa’s largest ever win in their history.
Nonetheless, Malawi survived Madagascar scare to win 2-0 in their opener to keep alive their hopes of reaching the last-four for the first time since 2011.
South Africa, ranked 49 in the world, is also the highest ranked team at the competition, 97 places ahead of Malawi.
“The odds are against us, but we are determined to win or draw to have a chance of reaching the semi-finals,” said Mkandawire.
He told his girls that the match will be tough at the competition but they should play with no pressure as that might lead to disaster. He believes it would make a different if the players remain cool and enjoy the game.
George Kaudza Masina, soccer analyst said it will be difficult for Malawi to beat South Africa.
Malawi and South Africa are using the Cosafa event to prepare for their 2020 Tokyo Olympics second round qualifiers against Kenya and Botswana, respectively, this month.
Both sides do not have over-seas professionals as the Cosafa event is not on Fifa calendar.