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Beach Soccer coach optimistic

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe in Vilankulo, Mozambique:

Malawi National Beach Soccer Team Coach Willy Kumilambe says his troops have what it takes to go beyond the group stages of the 2022 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals which begin on Friday in Vilankulo, Mozambique.

Kumilambe said this after the team arrived in Vilankulo Tuesday ahead of the tournament.

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“We are not here to enjoy life in Vilankulo or shop. We are on a serious mission. Some teams might underrate us but we will surprise them,” Kumilambe said.

On their way to Vilankulo, the team spent a night at Milpark Hotel in Chomoio.

Before proceeding to Vilankulo, early in the morning Tuesday, the players had a loosening session.

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It was a tiresome but adventurous journey, having travelled a distance of over 1,000km from Blantyre to Vilankulo.

Malawi will start the Beach Soccer Afcon finals against hosts Mozambique on Friday in the official opening match of the competition. Three days later, Malawi face Morocco.

Group A has three teams after Nigeria pulled out of the competition.

Group B comprises Senegal, Madagascar, Egypt and Uganda. Two teams will qualify for the semifinals whereas finalists will advance to the 2023 Beach Soccer World Cup.

The team is making its maiden appearance at the continental showpiece but participated in the Cosafa Cup in 2016 and finished second to Madagascar.

Malawi qualified for the 2022 Beach Soccer Afcon finals after beating Tanzania on away goal-rule.

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