Blunt strike force
Marian Mario Marinica rues missed chances
Malawi National Football Team Coach Marian Mario Marinica was left ruing missed chances in a 1-1 stalemate against Bangladesh in an international training match in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
The Flames have failed to score more than two goals in a single match in the last 11 matches under the Romanian.
Again, the Flames have only won a single match in the last seven matches. Malawi last won a match 2-1 against Mauritius during the 2022 Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.
This could send shock waves in Flames camp ahead of the 2024 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against Egypt later this month.
In post-match reaction on Wednesday, the Romanian said it was unfortunate that the Flames squandered numerous scoring opportunities against lowly ranked Bangladesh.
’’Unfortunately, our strikers are not putting the ball into the net. It is probably the downside of Malawi football. It is not good, if you look at statistics most of the players scored six or seven goals the whole of last season. ’’It is not really right. If you look at Erling Haaland, 25 games 31 goals. We are far from having scoring players. We hope the foreign country-based players will add quality,’’ Marinica said.
The Flames have relied on Amazulu striker Gabadinho Mhango to score goal whereas the rest of the strikers have struggled in front of goal at both club and country level.
Striker Khuda Muyaba last scored for Malawi during a practice match against Comoros Islands in 2021.
Before scoring against Bangladesh, Chiukepo Msowoya last scored against Lesotho at Cosafa.
Micium Mhone and Yamikani Chester are the other players that have scored for Malawi in recent matches.
Striker Richard Mbulu continues to be overlooked.
Malawian strikers have also struggled for goals in domestic football. Muyaba was the last player to score 21 goals in the TNM Super League in a season in 2020.
Majority of the strikers have won the golden boot awards with less than 20 goals in 30 matches.
Sports analyst Parry Chinyama said Mario should find solutions to the scoring problem.