Malawi Beach Soccer National Team yesterday made history when it qualified for its first ever Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals after eliminating Tanzania on away goal rule.
The two teams played out to an 8-8 stalemate on aggregate.
Malawi lost the second leg 6-5 at Coco Beach Stadium in Dar es Salaam Sunday but advanced to the finals after winning the first leg 3-2 at Sunbird Livingstonia in Salima District two weeks ago.
In a match followed on Football Association of Malawi (Fam) website, Malawi staged a late comeback after the hosts were destined for the finals.
Hero of the day was captain Sandram Saddi who netted three goals for Malawi including the last-minute goal.
Isaac Kajamu opened the scoring for Malawi in the fourth minute of the match but the hosts equalised through Stephan Mapunda after seven minutes.
Yahya gave Tanzania the lead in the eighth minute as the first period ended 2-1, with the hosts leading.
In the second period, Tanzania scored two quick goals through Jaruph Juma and Yahya.
Martin Biliati scored for Malawi in the 20th minute before Juma scored again for Tanzania.
Saddi scored two goals in a space of two minutes in the 27th and 28th minute of the match but Eric Manyama scored the sixth goal for Tanzania with two minutes to full time before Saddi scored the vital goal for Malawi.
Malawi Coach Willy Kumilambe was on cloud nine.
“It was a tough match as the hosts came hard on us. The early goal boosted our morale but we also relaxed a bit but I am happy that the players fought hard to come back into the match,” Kumilambe said.
The 2022 Beach Soccer Afcon finals will take place from October 21 to 30 in Mozambique.
Senegal are defending champions of the Afcon Beach Soccer, having won it on home soil last year.