Ntopwa dare Cosafa champs

 Ntopwa dare Cosafa champs

 Malawi representatives in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women’s Champions League qualifiers Ntopwa Super Queens coach James Sangala says they are determined to put up a better performance this afternoon against defending champions Green Buffaloes of Zambia.

The fixture comes after the team’s sloppy start to the CAF Women’s Champions League Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) qualifiers’ underway in South Africa.

Ntopwa Super Queens gave away a lead in the dying minutes in their Group A opener on Wednesday following a defensive error and missed a penalty to draw one-all with the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).

A winning start could have catapulted them to the summit of their four-team group with maximum points, but the stalemate means they are tied on a single point with the other  outfits after Buffaloes also drew 1-1 with Double Action Ladies of Botswana in the other fixture.

In an interview yesterday Sangala said: “Ahead of our next match, we have worked hard to be resolute in defence and very sharp on finishing. We do not need to repeat the mistakes we made in the opener where we missed numerous chances and had a disoriented defence.”

The former Flames defender said after analysing Buffaloes through video clips, they have noted the Zambians are a good side, but can be beaten.

When put it to him that Ntopwa, the only side making a debut appearance at the competition, are facing experienced defending champions, Sangala said they are not afraid.

Ntopwa have won the national championship once while Buffaloes have done it five times in their country. After becoming the first Zambian team to qualify for Cosafa Women’s Champions League in 2022, Buffaloes went on to become champions after beating holders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Buffaloes head coach Carol Kanyemba Daka was quoted by www.zambianfootball.co.zm, saying they expect a tough match and competition in general as everyone is looking at dethroning the Zambian army-sponsored outfit.

“It’s a different feeling, It’s not easy being a defending champion, everyone is working to dethrone us,” she explained.

Top two teams from each of the two groups will advance to the semi-finals. Only winners of the qualifiers, played in round-robin format, will represent the Cosafa region at the CAF Women’s Champions League in Ivory Coast in November this year.

If Ntopwa win today in a match that kicks-off at 3:30pm, they will boost their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals as they will just need at least a point in their last group clash against Double Action Ladies on Monday.

Group B, which rolled into action yesterday, has South Africa’s

Mamelodi Sundowns, the Comoros’ Olympic de Moroni, Costa do Sol of Mozambique and Young Buffaloes of e-Swatini.

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