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Cold Flames

Flames blow Cosafa Cup semis chances

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Meck Mwase

Malawi National Football Team displayed a comical performance as they suffered a 2-0 loss to Mozambique in the Cosafa Cup at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Sunday.

The Flames were hoping for a better result after a 2-2 draw in the first match against Zimbabwe but things went from bad to worse.

This means the Flames must win all the remaining matches against Namibia and Senegal to have slim hopes of reaching the Cosafa Cup semifinals since 2003.

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Following the loss, the Flames are bottom of Group B with just one point and trail leaders Namibia by five points, whereas Mozambique are second on four points.

Guest nation Senegal are third with three points whereas Zimbabwe are fourth with two points from three matches.

After a barren first half, the Mambas broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute from the penalty spot after Dennis Chembezi handled the ball.

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Victor Junior sent Flames goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe the wrong way to give his side the lead. Francisco Simbine doubled the lead for the Mambas in the 67th minute. It was game over as the Flames never threatened the Mambas.

Flames coach Meck Mwase made one change to the starting lineup that drew against Zimbabwe in the opening match on Friday.

Midfielder Rafiq Namwera replaced Muhammad Sulumba, who had a knock in the opening match.

Mwase said the referee made some harsh decisions.

“It was a tough game and we came back a strong side in the second half but the referee made life difficult for us,” Mwase said.

On his part, Mozambique Coach Horacio Goncalves praised his charges for the win.

“It was a good performance from the boys and we still have chances of qualifying for the semifinals,” he added.

The Flames will face Namibia tomorrow at the same venue before meeting Senegal on Wednesday.

Only top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals of the Cosafa Cup.

Malawi last qualified for the semifinals in 2003 and went onto the finals but lost to Zimbabwe 4-1 on aggregate.

Line ups

Malawi: Kakhobwe, Stanley Sanudi, Mark Fodya, Nickson Nyasulu, Dennis Chembezi, Chikoti Chirwa, Namwera, Chimwemwe Idana, Vitumbiko Kumwenda, Schumacher Kuwali, Khud Muyaba.

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