Malawi National Football Team defender Charles Petro is on the verge of competing in the Uefa Champions League group stages after his Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol registered a comfortable 3-0 win over Serbia’s Dynamo Zagreb on Tuesday night.
The result gives Sheriff the advantage ahead of the return leg as they still stand a chance of going through even with a 2-0 loss.
Petro played a part in Sheriff’s win as he came off the bench in the 86th minute for Ghanaian defender Addo.
Petro said he was excited to be part of the winning team.
“I am delighted and happy that we came out victorious. I continue to learn with each match I play in. If the coach gives me another chance to play, I will engage the extra gear to stake a claim for a starting place in the team.
“We are working hard in training so that we prepare well for the return match. We won at home and our opponents are also capable of winning at their backyard. So we will not leave
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Flames coach Meck Mwase said Sheriff’s performance in the elite European club competition is a reflection of football improvement in Moldova’s league.
“Sheriff have come a long way to be where they are now. Their progress speaks volumes about the standards of the league in which they play. This is good for our player and a welcome development to the national team as Petro will impart his Champions League knowledge in his Flames teammates.
“Petro is one of our reliable defenders at national team level and I urge him to continue working hard and keep developing. There is nothing better for any player’s career than playing in the Champions League. We will see him brushing shoulders with world-class stars if Sheriff go through,” Mwase said.
Zagreb will host Sherrif in Zagreb next week in the return leg and the Moldovan side also enjoys the luxury of still going through even with a 3-1 defeat.
Another Malawian star Peter Banda also played an important role for Sheriff to win first and second round preliminary matches.
Banda flew back to Africa after expiry of his six-month loan and signed for Tanzanian side Simba.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.