In a typical manifestation of the adage “what goes around comes around”, Zambia’s Copper Queens on Monday paid dearly for denying the Scorchers a chance to reach last year’s COSAFA Senior Women’s Championship semifinal.
The scorchers returned the favour in style following a 1-0 win over Zambia in a potentially COSAFA Women’s Championship group B epic clash played at the Wolfson Stadium in South Africa.
Last year, the Scorchers delegation complained that they suspected match fixing in a final group match that involved Zambia and Botswana.
Zambia missed a number of chances to win the game with Rachel Nachula guilty of squandering a penalty in the 75th minute.
At that point both Malawi and Botswana had six points but Scorchers had a better goal difference of +13 compared to Botswana’s +4.
Zambia, who also had six points, had all-but qualified for the semifinals by virtue of a superior goal difference (+16) to both Malawi and Botswana.
Following the draw, Zambia and Botswana ended the group stage with seven points each with Zambia top on goal difference.
Had Zambia won the match, Malawi Women’s Senior National Football team could have met the Copper Queens again in the semifinal.
Immediately after the draw for this year’s COSAFA Women’s Championship was conducted, the Scorchers head coach McNelbert Kazuwa made it clear that his wish was to make Zambia pay for their actions in 2019.
And true to his words, Kazuwa’s charges made their intentions known from the onset of the epic clash against Zambia.
The Scorchers dominated proceedings in the first half, squeezing the Copper Queens’s play in their own half.
Though it took a little while, the gods finally smiled on Malawi at the half hour mark after Temwa Chawinga headed home Zainab Kapanda’s cross.
The Scorchers fend off the pressure from Zambia, especially in the second half and held on to their slander lead to finish as group B winners.
They now face the host South Africa who finished top of Group A in Thursday’s semifinal berth.
In the other semifinal, Zambia who finished as best second placed team takes on Botswana.
Semifinal victories for The scorchers and the Copper Queens may see the two sides meeting again in the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship.