Malawi aim to go one better in Nelson Mandela Bay

Best finish: Second (2021)
FIFA Ranking: 158
CAF Ranking: 30
Last five tournaments:
2017 – Group Stage
2018 – Group Stage
2019 – Group Stage
2020 – Semifinals
2021 – Runners-Up

Malawi will be hoping to go one better than last year’s historic first ever final appearance at the HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Women’s Championship, where they lost 1-0 to Tanzania but showed all of their potential.

It was a thrilling run to the decider that saw them finish as the best runner-up in their pool behind hosts South Africa, but then go on to beat Banyana Banyana 3-2 in the semifinals, with Sabinah Thom the two-goal hero.

They might have lost in the final, but the SheFlames went away with a lot of pride and will know they can get there again this time round.

Malawi played their first ever international at the 2002 COSAFA Women’s Championships, but were on the receiving end of an 8-0 loss to hosts Zambia at that tournament.

They beat Lesotho 3-0 in their next game to record a first win, but failed to reach the knockout stages.

They defeated Lesotho by the same scoreline at the 2006 COSAFA Women’s Championships, but a 3-0 loss to South Africa ended their semifinal hopes.

Malawi did reach the knockout stages when the tournament was played in 2011, finishing second in their pool, but came unstuck against the South Africans again with a 5-1 semifinal loss.

They eventually finished fourth after losing 3-0 to East African guest nation Tanzania in the bronze medal play-off match.

The side had a mixed competition in 2017, losing to Zambia (6-3), drawing with Zimbabwe (3-3) and claiming a handsome win over Madagascar (6-3) to finish third in the pool with four points.

It was also mixed success in 2018, with a 2-0 win over Madagascar tempered by a loss to Botswana by the same scoreline and a 6-0 hammering from South Africa.

The side continued to show their progress with another strong performance in 2019, but once again they could not sneak into the knockout stages.

They started with a 2-0 win over Madagascar, but that was followed by a 3-1 loss to South Africa. They finished their pool play with a team record 13-0 success against the Comoros Islands.

They were semifinalists again in 2020 as they defeated Lesotho 9-0 in their opener with Tabitha Chawinga managing six goals, before edging Zambia 1-0 in what proved the crucial game in the three-team pool.

That set up a semifinal with South Africa, but after the first half ended at 0-0 they lost 6-2.