Grudge matches in FAM Goshen Championship Quarterfinals

The stage is set for the quarter-finals of the 2023 Fam Goshen Women’s National Championship at Bingu National Stadium today.

Defending Champions Kukoma Ntopwa Women’s and last year’s runners-up Ascent Academy will face each other in an early kickoff before paving way for FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Women and Malawi Defence Force ( MDF) Lionesses.

There is a lot at stake in this match between Ntopwa and Ascent as apart from a place in the semi-final, pride is also at stake.

Ascent have a score to settle against Ntopwa having lost 5-3 on post-match penalties after a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time in the final of the 2022 Fam Women’s National Championship at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre.

Ntopwa will be hoping to continue their dominance over Ascent in the competition.

Ascent coach Thom Mkolongo said the match is a perfect opportunity for revenge.

“The girls are in high spirits and they are geared for the crucial tie. There is renewed hope in our camp and we believe this is our time,” said Mkolongo.

Ascent have never won the competition while Ntopwa won it for the first time last year.

Ntopwa Coach and Owner Isaac Jomo Osman said his team has what it takes to progress to the semi-finals of the competition.

” This is the final before the final. If we want to be champions, we have to beat the best. We know this is a tough match but the best team will carry the day,” said Osman.

Ntopwa will be hoping to become the first team to win the competition twice in a space of three years. Since, 2021, not team has defended the competition.

Bullets Women won the 2021 edition after beating DD Sunshine ( now Silver Ladies) 3- 1 at Civo Stadium.

However, this year, they face familiar foes Lionesses in the quarter-final.

Last year, the two teams were drawn in the same group but Bullets Women defeated Lionesses 2-0 at Mpira Stadium courtesy of Vanessa Chikupira and Tendai Sani goals.

Bullets Women Head Coach Maggie Chombo told the club’s media that the girls are looking to reclaim their lost glory.

“It’s the competition the girls have been eagerly waiting for after the completion of the regional leagues last year. As a coach, I am happy that we are finally going to the national championship and I believe it’s what the girls have been looking forward to as well,” said Chombo.

Lionesses under the tutelage of John Kaputa  would be looking to transform their regional form into the national championship after they won their first ever Central Region title.

The experienced mentor said he has trust in the squad he has assembled this year.

“We have good players and our target is to win the competition. We know that Bullets Women are a good side but we can upset them,” said.

The  other two quarter-finals will be played on Wednesday at the same venue.

Silver Strikers Ladies will face Moyale Sisters following their 16-0 victory over CY Sisters in the play offs while Civil Service United Women will meet MK Academy after beating Mighty Wanderers Queens 1-0 on Monday.

 

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