Malawi women football team on Wednesday kept their 2020 Tokyo Women’s Olympic Final dream alive after beating visiting Kenya 3-2 in an entertaining encounter played at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The two teams will play in the return leg behind closed doors at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Sunday.
The game started on a high note with the visitors being the first to get an opening chance in as early as eight minutes into the first half but a Carzolone Aquino’s strike was denied entry into the net by the cross bar.
But Malawi responded positively in the 13th minute with a beautiful free kick from Madina Nguluwe after captain Tabitha Chawinga was brought down at the edge of the penalty box.
After the goal, Malawi continued to pile more pressure on the visitor with a number of fierce attacks orchestrated by the Chawinga Sisters Temwa and Tabitha.
However, the ‘Harambee Starlets’ as Kenya Women’s team is famously called equalized in the 35th minute through Cynthia Shilwatso.
But their joy and recovery did not last long as Tabitha restored the Malawi lead again.
The Chinese- based star scored with an assist from her sister Temwa who plies her trade in Sweden.
Temwa Chiwanga dribbling past three defenders to set up her sister Tabitha Chiwanga, who slotted past the advancing Starlets custodian Annete Kundu.
With five minutes from recess, Malawi were awarded a penalty after Temwa was brought down in the box and her sister Temwa step in to put the ball at the back of the net.
First half ended 3-1 in favour of the home side.
In the second half, the Kenya coach made some few changes bringing in Mincate Kaari for Nelly Jeptanui and the goal scorer Shilwatso was also rested for Jentrix Shikangwa.
Malawi rested multi-talented Towera Vinkhumbo who was replaced by Ruth Nyirongo.
Starlets kept pushing and were rewarded in the 81st minute, Samir Amidu’s clearance bouncing off Elizabeth Wambui into the net.
The aggregate winner is set to face either Ghana or Gabon in the third round of the qualifiers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :