Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, are in a make-or-break situation facing Namibia in a Group B Cosafa Cup match at Wolfson Stadium this afternoon.
The Flames are still searching for their first win at this year’s Cosafa Cup, having lost 2-0 to Mozambique on Sunday, two days after drawing 2-2 with Zimbabwe in the opening match.
But facing Namibia, who have won their opening two matches in this campaign, means the Flames have an uphill task to keep their dream of reaching the semifinals alive.
Any result apart from a win means the Flames will automatically be out of the Cosafa Cup, rendering their fixture against guest nation Senegal tomorrow useless.
For the Flames to get a positive result, they need to be brave and up their game.
Malawi and Namibia have met five times in Cosafa Cup history, with the Brave Warriors winning three matches, losing once and drawing once.
In 1997, the Flames lost 4-1 to Namibia before a 1- 1 stalemate in 1999. They then suffered a 3-2 loss in 2006 before another 1-0 loss in 2008.
Malawi defeated Namibia 2-1 during the 2019 Cosafa Cup in Durban.
However, the opening two matches of this year’s Cosafa Cup show that Flames coach Meck Mwase has plenty of home work.
Mwase will be hoping that his troops will stage a late assault to sneak into the semifinals.
Mwase will be forced to make a change in midfield as Chikoti Chirwa is suspended for this afternoon clash after accumulating two yellow cards in matches against Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
However, veteran midfielder Tawonga Chimodzi is likely to replace him, having played against Mozambique as a substitute.
At the back, Mwase is likely to maintain Stanley Sanudi, Dennis Chembezi, Nixon Nyasulu and Mark Fodya to provide cover to goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
In attack, Khuda Muyaba is expected to lead the front line alongside Schumacher Kuwali.
Namibia Coach Bobby Samaria has assembled a good squad and are favourites to go through to the semifinals.
The Flames are bottom of the group with one point from two matches whereas Namibia lead with six points from the same number of games.
Mozambique’s Mambas are second with four points from three matches whereas Senegal are third with three points. Zimbabwe are fourth with two points from three matches.
Only top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals of the Cosafa Cup.
Malawi last reached the semifinals in 2003 and went on to finish as runners-up to the then winners Zimbabwe.