BY MPHATSO JOHN SAM, MANA
DD Sunshine on Sunday defended the Presidential Women’s Football National Championship crown with a 3-1 triumph over Blantyre Zero in an entertaining final match at the Mpira Stadium in Blantyre.
The two-day tournament which started on Saturday was a national playoff for regional leagues and the three Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Regional Women’s Football League champions participated in the competition.
DD Sunshine emerged champions of the Central Region, Blantyre Zero from the Southern Region and Moyale Sisters were champions from the North. Ntopwa Super Queens, by virtue of finishing on second position in the Southern Region, which was the host region, also qualified for the tournament.
DD Sunshine seem to have turned the Presidential Women’s National Championship into a personal property as they also beat Ntopwa Super Queens last year to lift the glory.
But it was not an easy path to success for the eventual champions in 2020 as they had to first beat Ntopwa Super Queens 1-0 at the same venue on Saturday, to progress into the final while Blantyre Zero massacred Moyale Sisters with a comfortable 4-1 win.
The match appeared to be one of toughest Presidential Women’s National Championship final as each team exerted pressure on the other with a wave-after-wave attack. But it all changed on the 18th minute of the first half.
The Central Region champions drew the first blood after one of the defenders for Blantyre Zero blundered a few metres outside the 18-yard box which Chisomo Banda capitalized on and made no mistake but to put the visitors on the lead.
Blantyre Zero then stabilised as the clock ticked 28minutes into the first half following a stunning and powerful shot by Mary Chabvinda which was deflected to send DD Sunshine goalkeeper the wrong way.
This gave way to the ball to find the back of the net, leveling the scoring in the process.
Barely three minutes after Blantyre Zero had equalised, the visitors took lead again through a penalty awarded after one of the Blantyre Zero players had handled in the box which Funny Mwale converted.
Mwale put the last nail on Blantyre Zero to completely shutter their dreams of clinching the title this year.
DD Sunshine Head Coach Andrew Chikhosi said: “The game was very tough but it worked according to our plan. We will beef up our squad with players from the DD Academy so that we should defend this title.”
On the other hand, Blantyre Zero Head Coach Jaffallie Sanudi attributed the loss to fear by his charges over DD Sunshine saying: “Our overall performance was great but it’s just that football is dynamic, there is a loser and a winner. We admit the loss.”
DD Sunshine pocketed K3 million for being champions while the runners up got K1 million. Ntopwa Super Queens, who defeated Moyale Barracks 4-0 to finish on the third position walked away with K500 000.