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Gabadinho Mhango, Peter Banda available for Cosafa Cup

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Malawi National Football Team is assured of two more lethal weapons in its arsenal for the Cosafa Cup after Football Association of Malawi (Fam) confirmed the availability of striker Gabadinho Mhango and winger Peter Banda.

The regional competition is scheduled for July 5 through to 17 in Durban, South Africa.

The two players were not included in the 30-member provisional squad as Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica opted for more local players.

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Mhango is expected to join camp on Sunday whereas Banda would join later next week.

Fam President Walter Nyamilandu said the availability timely boost to the team’s morale. of Mhango and Banda was a

“The availability of the two players is great news to us as we have several injuries,” Nyamilandu said.

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Mhango and Banda missed last year’s Cosafa Cup in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, due to club commitments.

The tournament offers an opportunity to Mhango to earn game time and impress his new employers, AmaZulu, ahead of the 2022-23 DStv Premiership season.

The former Nyasa Big Bullets goal poacher remains Malawi’s Cosafa Cup all-time leading goalscorer with six goals, followed by Essau Kanyenda, Jones Nkhwazi and Gerald Phiri Junior with three goals each.

Some of the key players that are likely to miss the showpiece due to injuries are Dennis Chembezi, Chimwemwe Idana, Gomezgani Chirwa and Precious Sambani.

Stain Davie is also doubtful after picking a knock whereas Schumacher Kuwali was diagnosed with malaria.

Silver Strikers goalkeeper Charles Thom is another doubt due to the injury he sustained during the Flames’ 2-1 Africa Cup of Nations win over Ethiopia at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on June 5.

The Flames players have since been released from camp for this weekend’s TNM Super League matches.

They are expected to regroup on Sunday minus Mighty Mukuru Wanderers players, who will join camp after their fixture against Civo Service United on Tuesday.

The Flames are in Group B of the cup alongside Lesotho, eSwatini and Mauritius.

They start their campaign against Lesotho on July 6 at King Zwelithini Stadium before meeting eSwatini at the same venue two days later.

Malawi wrap up their group stage fixtures against Mauritius at Princess Magogo Stadium on July 10.

Only one team will qualify for the quarterfinals from each group.

Malawi would face guest nation Senegal should they sail through to the quarterfinals.

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