By Mphatso Malidadi & Ronald Mpaso:
Malawi national football team’s opponents in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, Cameroon, will be without star striker Vincent Aboubakar for their back-to-back matches against the Flames on October 12 and 16.
Aboubakar faces a long spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a knee injury he picked over the weekend while playing for his Portuguese side Porto.
According to bbc.com, the 26-year-old ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the Portuguese champions’ 1-0 win over Tondela.
Aboubakar also faces a race against time to be fit for next year’s Afcon to be staged on home soil next year.
Meanwhile under-fire Malawi commenced preparations at Kamuzu Stadium Monday.
Assistant Coach Peter Mponda said all players, except Moyale Barracks hit-man Gastin Simkonda, have reported for training.
“Gastin sustained an ankle injury while playing for Moyale on Sunday, so he will not be part of the team. As for Stain Davie of TN Stars, he will join the squad later since he needs time to travel from Kasungu,” Mponda said.
He said the team was in good spirits and geared for a positive result in Yaoundé when they face the Indomitable Lions on October 12.
“It will not be easy but we need to be positive to get a good result. We need to take each game as it comes,” Mponda said.
Coach Ronny van Geneudgen is expected to release a list of foreign-based players for the trip later this week.
Geneudgen has come under pressure following a string of unconvincing results in different competitions having played 17 games, won twice, drawn nine matches and lost six.
However, Malawi are still in contention for an Afcon slot as they are third in the group with three points behind leaders Cameroon, who have four points, and second-placed Morocco, who also have three points but with a better goal difference.
Comoros Islands are at the bottom with a point after holding Cameroon to a 1-1 stalemate.
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