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Abel Mwakilama to join Under-20

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Portugal-based striker, Abel Mwakilama, was expected to join Malawi under-20 national football team yesterday, ahead of Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Youth Championship qualifier against Swaziland at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

The Junior Flames’ Team Manager, Aubrey Nankhuni, said Mwakilama, who has been in spectacular form at Portugal’s fourth-tier regional league side, Sporting de Esmoriz, was expected to join the team in Lilongwe.

“He is a great player and his arrival will boast the team’s morale. He will join the team in Lilongwe since we will leave for the capital on Wednesday (yesterday),” Nankhuni said.

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The former Chitipa United forward is expected to partner Peter Banda upfront in the first-leg of the preliminary round, which will be followed by the reverse fixture after a fortnight.

The Junior Flames’ Coach, Meke Mwase, who had a coaching stint with Swaziland side Mbabane Highlanders in 2016, said he anticipates a tough match.

“We want them [the players] to enjoy the match and win the game. It would be an opportunity for us to get the positive result so that we should have a simple job in the second-leg.

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“I know the type of football that is played in Swaziland, but it has been two years since I left; hence, a lot of things might have changed,” Mwase said.

The winner between Malawi and Swaziland will face Angola in the second-round of the qualifiers.

The Junior Flames and Swaziland last met at the Cosafa Championship where Malawi won 3-2 at Arthur Davis Stadium in Zambia.

The Junior Flames last qualified for the continental finals in 1999 in Ghana when Manfred Horner was Technical Director and Alex Masanjala was the coach.

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