Malawi National Women’s Football team coach Lovemore Fazili has singled out South Africa as the team to beat in Group A after the Regional football governing body, COSAFA confirmed the draw for the 2023 Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship on Thursday morning.
The Scorchers were pitted against hosts South Africa, Madagascar and Eswatini for the two-week tournament that will take place in Gauteng, South Africa, from October 4th to October 15th.
Fazili described the group as fair and said while South Africa will be viewed as the favorites to win the four-team group, Scorchers have their own ambitions and are well aware that they have to beat the Banyana Banyana if they want to be perched at the summit of the standings and qualify for the semifinals.
“It’s a very good draw and we are happy that we will be going into camp knowing our opponents in the group stage.
“Though not underrating the other two teams, we will start our preparations on a good note knowing that we are in the same group with South Africa, who are very strong so we have to put our girls in good shape if we are to beat them,” he said.
The scorchers will start their preparation this weekend at Mpira Village in Blantyre.
According to Fazili, the team will come in two groups. The first one comprising of 28 new players will undergo a two-day assessment training from Monday where 15 best players will be selected and these will be joined by 15 old players to make a 30-member squad that will start full camp on 20th September.
Last year, the Scorchers did not go past the Group stages of the competition after finishing third in group C which had Tanzania, Botswana and Comoros.
The 12 countries that will take part in the competitions have been placed in three groups of four each. Group B has defending Champions Zambia, Mozambique, Angola and Comoros while Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho are in group C.
Group winners and the best second placed team will progress to the semifinal.