Malawi Schools Squad Come Back With Silver, 3 Individual Awards and Unbeaten in 4 Games At Cosafa Qualifiers


A good pair of hands of South Africa’s goalkeeper Sabrie Losper and a strike at the crossbar denied Malawi the chance to win the CAF African schools championship COSAFA qualifiers 2023 that was hosted by Zimbabwe from Thursday.

South Africa scored all of their spot kicks but Malawi’s Amos Nyirenda’s struck the crossbar while Tinga Nkhoma and James Msongole had their efforts saved by goalkeeper Losper.

A report by CAFonline described the final as a pulsating match that ended 1-1 draw on the final whistle in which Malawi took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Okestar Kanyenda, who scored “a superb goal when he struck the ball on the volley and into the far post”.

“Malawi had several promising attacks but were repeatedly caught offside before South Africa made them pay,” said the CAFonline report.

“Rhys Ferguson saw his initial shot on the volley come back off the post, but he reacted quickest to the loose ball to send it into the net and take the game to spot-kicks.”

It had been a fairytale run for the Malawi squad as they won all their four of their group matches — that included pipping hosts Zimbabwe 4-0 in their opening match on Thursday through goals from Yamikani Masamba, Justin Chipewa, Ishmael Bwanali and James Lumbe.

They went on to beat Mozambique 3-0 through Deborah Jere and a brace from Khumbiso Gudugwe and Botswana 2-1 through James Musongole and James Lumbe, who was to be named Player of the Match.

Lumbe of Salima Secondary School was again voted Player of the Match when they beat eSwatini 2-0 with goals from Shadreck Nyirenda and Ishmael Bwanali while in Malawi girls 5-0 triumph over eSwatini, Victoria Mkwala — who scored three — earned the Player of the Match.

Despite such a record none was recognised for overall individual awards, as South Africa’s Simama Inganathi was named Player of the Tournament in the boys’ category, while goalkeeper Losper took home the Golden Glove.

South Africa completed a ‘double’ for the second year in a row as girls’ team also won their final 3-1 over Botswana, with Khwezi Khoza, who finished as the leading scorer in the competition with 11 goals, netting twice and the other by Rethabile Molefe.

Both advance to the continental finals to be played next year having come out on top following a superb three days of schools football action in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.

South Africa’s Rhys Ferguson and Zimbabwe’s Sadomba shared the Golden Boot having scored four goals each while the hosts Zimbabwe — who claimed third place with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Namibia — took home the Fair Play award.

In the girls’ competition South Africa’s Katleho Malebana was named Player of the Tournament while teammates Angel Zibula won Golden Glove and Khoza the Golden Boot.

Malawi girls finished second in Group A after tying on 8 points with Botswana and Mozambique and separated by several factors and Malawi got the second spot after drawing twice.

The girls did not concede a single goal in their pool stage matches, but the two 0-0 draws cost them a place in the decider and it was a complicated equation with three teams finishing on eight points in the final standings.

After head-to-head could not separate them, it eventually came down to goal-difference in all pool matches between Botswana and Mozambique after Malawi were eliminated from top spot having not scored a goal against their two rivals.

It then came down to head-to-head and goal-difference between Botswana Mozambique, where the former came out on top.

The two full squads comprise:

Boys

Goalkeepers: Precious Malunga (Mbayani Primary), Adam Daiton (Baka Primary), Chisomo Mdoka (Salima Secondary);

Defenders: Abdul Razack Mohamed (Anthens), Jefrey Bisani (Anthens), Wilfred Mapira (Riverside Private), Menson Mwakapenda (Chibavi Primary), James Lumbe (Salima Secondary), James Msongole (Salima Secondary);