Malawi Queens taste defeat at World Cup qualifiers

Lwazi

The Malawi Queens put up a spirited performance but it just wasn't enough to defuse their fiery hosts South Africa as they scored 60 against Malawi's 44 to win the Africa Region Netball World Cup qualifiers.

Malawi had been unbeaten in all their four matches at the qualifiers and knew South Africa would be their only real test.

It was neck-to-neck start as the first quarter ended 13- all.

But the Proteas recognised the danger posed by Malawi's shooter Joyce Mvula and brought in Phumza Maweni a goal keeper slightly taller than Mvula

From then on, things took a downward turn for Mvula as she was pushed out of her comfort zone, forcing coach Peace Chawinga to substitute her for Sindi Simutowe.

Malawi then shifted to short, low passes. The change did help as the first half finished 22-28.

Mvula was brought back in the third quarter but she continued to struggle, misplacing passes and shooting off-target, quite uncharacteristic of her.

Realising that the game was probably already lost, coach Peace Chawinga Kalua replaced Mvula with Masamba in the final phase. Chawinga Kalua ringed in more changes and brought in Lorraine Ngwira as goalkeeper for Carol Mtukule.

Part of what lost Malawi the game was the huge amount of turnovers that saw them fail to utilise their centre passes. But of course the Proteas also had their rowdy supporters to thanks.

Kalua acknowledged that the game was lost in the second quarter.

"But I'm proud of the way my girls have played throughout the tournament," she thanking Malawians in South Africa for the support.

Malawi won their group games against Kenya, Zambia and Eswatini convincingly.

They also cruised past Zimbabwe on Friday to sail through to the 2023 World Cup to be hosted in Cape Town.

Zimbabwe also went on to defeat Zambia to claim Africa's fourth and final slot.

Uganda who already qualified opted out of the competition.