Sweden-based women’s football star Temwa Chawinga tops the scorers chart in Africa’s qualifiers for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Malawian stands proudly at the summit with six goals after the first round of the qualifying tournament. Her China-based sister, Tabitha, is second with four goals.
Temwa scored five goals in the 11-1 demolition of Mozambique in the first leg while her sister bagged a hat-trick.
The sisters were on target again in the second leg, scoring a goal each alongside Sabina Thom in Maputo as Malawi wrapped up the rout with a 3-0 victory at Estádio do Zimpeto on Tuesday.
Tabitha said they owe their phenomenal success to a hard-working spirit.
“We just work hard when we are on the pitch. We also owe it to God for giving us this talent,” she said.
Commenting on her younger sister, Tabitha said she is amazed with her extraordinary skills.
“She is destined to achieve more,” she said.
Temwa said she had learnt a lot from her elder sister, who was the first to move to Sweden before joining a Chinese club last year.
In total, there were 47 goals scored in the first round of 14 matches and Malawi dominate the scorers’ list.
Apart from the Chawinga sisters, veteran Linda Kasenda has two goals while Thom and Wezzie Mvula have a goal each.
National women’s football team coach Abel Mkandawire hailed the players for their patriotism.
He, however, said there is no time for celebrations as the team faces tougher opponents in the next round.
“The first round is gone. We are no longer thinking of what we did to Mozambique. We are taking each game as it comes,” said Mkandawire.
Malawi now face Kenya in the second round with the first and second leg set for August 26 and September 1, respectively.
If they beat Kenya, Malawi will face the winner between Ghana and Gabon in the third round.
FAM wants the team to camp in Europe if it qualifies for the third round.
Twenty-five teams are participating in the qualifiers. The winner will automatically qualify for 2020 Summer Olympics.
The runner-up will enter a play-off against the second-placed team from South American Football Confederation (Conmebol).