Zimbabwe team coach, Calisto Pasuwa, has said he still regards the Flames as a threat in Group L of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers despite defying the odds to beat the Flames 2-1 on Saturday at the Kamuzu Stadium.
Zimbabwe arrived at midnight on Friday and, against all the adversity, managed to defeat the Flames to tie at three points with Swaziland who defeated Guinea by a similar score line on Friday.
Pasuwa said even though the Flames had lost valuable points at home, they still had the potential to make it to the finals in Gabon.
“It is a good team. The Malawi team has improved a lot over the years and they have quality players. They kept possession of the ball well and created chances but they couldn’t convert them. I think in the next game Malawi will do well,” he said.
“But this is a game of football. It is goals that matter. We scored one goal from counter-attack and that was what made the difference. This win will make Zimbabweans proud after we had bad preparations. We now need to put our differences aside and focus on good preparations so that we can qualify for the finals.”
Flames coach, Young Chimodzi, conceded that the result was a big blow to the Flames’ chances of qualification since they had targeted home wins to be crucial in the qualification campaign.
He said with Swaziland’s win away in Guinea, it would be a tough task for the Flames who played seven friendly matches in preparation for the Zimbabwe match.
“Very tough but we still have to go on. We have to fight to the end. We have to sit down and look at the areas we can improve on,” he said.
The Flames must now win away to Swaziland in September to revive their hopes of qualification.
Only the group winners will qualify for the finals in Gabon