Ntopwa Women’s football club will tomorrow make history by becoming the first Malawian women’s football team to participate in a CAF Competition as they open their Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifiers campaign in Durban, South Africa against Lesotho Defence Force.
Their second group A match is on Friday against defending Champions, Green Buffaloes from Zambia before their wind up the group stages with a date against Double Action Ladies from Botswana on 4th September.
Top two teams from each of the two groups will proceed to the semifinals with the tournament winner making it to the finals which will staged in Ivory Coast in November.
Ntopwa qualified for the regional competition after winning the National Women’s Championship in May
Founded in 2003, Ntopwa Football Club has eight teams for both boys and girls across different age groups with all participating in Football Association of Malawi structures.
Ntopwa Women have been participating in the FAM Women’s Regional Leagues since 2015.
Though sponsored by an individual, Isaac Jomo Osman who is very passionate about women’s football, the team’s performance has been outstanding over the years with several players earning national team call ups at all levels.
The team won their first FAM Women’s regional league title in 2018 and have since then been playing second fiddle to rivals FCB Nyasa Big Bullets Women’s.
Ntopwa failed to go past the group stages of the inaugural FAM Women’s National Championship in 2022.
During the 2022/ 2023 season they finished second in the Regional League for third consecutive time with 36 points from 14 games.
The second-place finish was enough to book them a ticket to the FAM National Championship second edition.
Ntopwa were placed in group B alongside Ascent Academy, Civil Service Women, Evirom FC and Moyale Sisters. They won the group with 10 points after registering three wins and one draw.
In the semifinals, they beat DD Sunshine 5-3 on post-match penalties following a 1-all draw in regulation time.
The final match against Ascent Academy also went into penalties after a 1- all draw in regulation time and the Bangwe side triumphed 5-3 to book their place at the CAF Women’s Champions League Qualifiers as Malawi representatives.
Ntopwa’s Road to the CAF WCL
FAM National Women’s Championship
Ntopwa 3-0 Evirom
Ntopwa 1-0 Civil Service Women
Ascent 1-1 Ntopwa
Ntopwa 6-1 Moyale
Ntopwa 1(5) -1(3) DD Sunshine (now Silver Striker Ladies)
Ascent Academy 1(3) -1(5) Ntopwa
The COSAFA Squad
Former Flames captain James Sangala who has been Coaching the girls since 2023 will lead the team’s technical panel at the qualifiers.
Below is the 21-member squad that will take part in the in the competition:
Goalkeepers: Mercy Sikelo and Bridget Daniel
Defenders: Olivia Phikani, Rose Alufandika, Slyvia Phiri, Joyce Makweya, Lyness Mbera, Bernadetta Mkandawire and Chimwemwe Chitsulo.
Midfielders: Mary Mbalangwe, Saliva January, Memory Chidetsa, Funny Magombo, Esther Chauluka, Monica Jester
Strikers: Mary Chindeya, Kondawo Banda, Yamikani Mhango, Lydia Nchochoma, Linda Kasenda, Vanessa Chikupira.