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Duo to miss Flames game

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By Williams Gondwa

Malawi National Football Team Captain Limbikani Mzava and attacker Peter Banda have been ruled out for tomorrow’s 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast in Benin.

Mzava having picked up an injury when the Flames lost 3-0 to the Elephants of Ivory Coast at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg Friday did not travel with the team to Benin.

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However, Banda travelled to Benin but he will not feature as he will be serving suspension after collecting two yellow cards.

Banda picked the first yellow card when Flames beat Mozambique 1-0 at Orlando Stadium last month before accumulating another yellow card Friday at the same venue.

Flames Assistant Coach Lovemore Fazili confirmed the unavailability of the duo, saying it was a big blow to the team as they were first choice players.

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“Our doctors advised us that Mzava needs further assessment on his injury, so he is not part of the squad. It was unfortunate that Banda was shown a yellow card at a time he had one already. We should not place a panic button though as we have players that will take over their roles,” Fazili said.

Mzava was replaced by Mighty Wanderers defender Peter Cholopi midway the second half.

The AmaZulu FC centre-back said he was optimistic that his colleagues will fight for a win in Benin despite suffering a humiliating defeat Friday.

“I wish I could have been part of the team but I am not feeling well. I have encouraged my teammates that it is possible to win in Benin. Let us give the team all the support as they face Ivory Coast. I know it will not be an easy task but everything is possible,” Mzava said.

Flames are third in Group D with three points from three matches.

Ivory Coast lead the group with seven points while Cameroon, who defeated Mozambique 3-0 Friday are second with six points. Mozambique anchor the group with a point.

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