Temwa Chawinga’s Heroics Secure Malawi’s Historic COSAFA Women’s Champs Victory

Malawi clinched their first-ever Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women's Championship in 2023, defeating reigning champions Zambia 2-1 at the lively Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday. Photo: COSAFA on X

Malawi clinched their first-ever Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship in 2023, defeating reigning champions Zambia 2-1 at the lively Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday. 

Zambia initially dominated the game, coming close to an early goal from a corner, but Salome Phiri’s attempt hit the crossbar.

Malawi countered with threats from Temwa Chawinga, while Asimenye Simwaka found her captain, whose header went over the bar. Zambia’s top scorer, Sarah Jere, had an opportunity, but her shot lacked power, easily saved by Mercy Sikelo. Jere made another attempt but failed to connect with Phiri in the box.

Malawi was awarded a free kick after a foul on Rose Kadzere, taken by Chawinga, but it deflected for a fruitless corner. Chawinga assisted Simwaka, breaking the deadlock after 30 minutes with her second goal of the tournament.

Malawi seemed to extend their lead with a brilliant team goal started by Chawinga, passed to Simwaka, and then to Sabinah Thom. However, VAR technology disallowed the goal due to evidence of a foul by Chawinga on Zambian captain Lushomo Mweemba.

Malawi had a chance to secure a second goal within the opening five minutes of the second half through Kadzere, but her shot missed the target. As Malawi continued to press for a second goal, a foul on Wuhan Jianghan star Chawinga earned her team a set-piece. Irene Khumalo attempted a long-range shot, which forced Letisha Lungu to parry the ball for a corner, but it yielded no results.

Late in the match, Khumalo conceded a penalty for a handball, allowing Agness Phiri to equalise with just four minutes left in regulation time. However, their joy was short-lived as a defensive error by the Zambian captain resulted in Thom punishing the Copper Queens in injury time, reclaiming the lead and ultimately securing the championship-winning goal.

Earlier, Mozambique celebrated their first-ever podium finish at the Championship, earning a bronze medal by defeating Zimbabwe 2-0 in the third/fourth place playoff. In a highly strategic match, Mozambique waited until late to score two quick goals through Lucia Moçambique, three minutes before the final whistle, and Cina Manuel in injury time. 

The scoreline could have been higher, but Luis Fumo’s side had Deolinda Gove’s goal disallowed two minutes after the one-hour mark by VAR, which was introduced for the first time in the tournament.

In the individual awards, Chawinga claimed the Golden Boot, having scored nine goals, and was named the Player of the Tournament. Cynthia Shongwe earned the Goalkeeper of the Tournament title for conceding only two goals for Zimbabwe. The Fair Play award was bestowed upon tournament silver-medalists, Zambia.

COSAFA Women’s Championship

Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship Fixtures at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, on Sunday, 15 October, 2023:

FINAL:

Zambia 1-2 Malawi

Third-Place Play-Off:

Zimbabwe 0-2 Mozambique


Main Photo Caption: Malawi clinched their first-ever Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship in 2023, defeating reigning champions Zambia 2-1 at the lively Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday. Photo: COSAFA on X

Photo 2 Caption: Zambia initially dominated the game, coming close to an early goal from a corner, but Malawi countered with threats from Temwa Chawinga. Photo: COSAFA on X

Photo 3 Caption: Malawi’s Temwa Chawinga was named Player of the Tournament, and also won the tournament’s Golden Boot Award for her nine goals. Photo: COSAFA on X

Photo 4 Caption: Chawinga assisted Asimenye Simwaka to open scoring after 30 minutes for her second goal of the tournament, only for Agness Phiri to equalise from a penalty, with just four minutes left in regulation time. Their joy was short-lived as a defensive error allowed Sabinah Thom to reclaim the lead from the championship-winning goal. Photo: COSAFA on X

Photo 5 Caption: Mozambique celebrated their first-ever podium finish at the Championship, earning a bronze medal by defeating Zimbabwe 2-0 in the third/fourth place playoff. Photo: COSAFA on X

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