Eight Malawians involved in Caf assignments
Malawi may not have any team competing in the Caf Champions League and the Confederation Cup, but the country was well represented in matches that took place yesterday and on Tuesday.
TNM Super League champions Nyasa Big Bullets and Fisd Challenge Cup holders Blue Eagles had expressed intentions to play in the two continental competitions but withdrew due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eight Malawians were in action during the first round, first leg games of the continental competitions.
Mozambique-based Malawi National Football Team Captain John ‘CJ’ Banda and attacker Schumacher Kuwali were in action when their club UD Songo held Zambian side Napsa United to a goalless draw at Heroes National Stadium in Zambia on Tuesday.
Malawian referee Gift Chicco was in charge of the match, with Clemence Kanduku and Edward Kambatuwa as his assistants. Godfrey Nkhakananga was on duty during the encounter as fourth official.
Banda started the match and was substituted in the 56th minute for Jimmy Ukonde while Kuwali played the entire game.
The Flames skipper said it was pleasing to see Malawian referees handling the game professionally.
The former Blue Eagles midfielder said forcing a draw was part of their game- plan.
“We are confident of finishing up the game in Mozambique. This is not a bad result. We just wanted to ensure that we did not lose the match. We achieved our goal and we are happy.
“Besides the draw, it was great to see my brothers from Malawi officiating the match in a professional manner.
This made my day,” Banda said.
Flames striker Gabadinho Mhango reclaimed his position in Orlando Pirates’ starting line-up during the South African side’s 0-1 win over Angolan side Sagrada Esparanca in the Caf Confederation Cup first leg in Luanda, Angola, on Tuesday.
This was the first time for Mhango to break into the starting line-up for the Bucaneers after recovering from an injury he sustained during a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match against Stellenbosch early last month.
The former Nyasa Big Bullets star played for 74 minutes.
Speaking after the match, the 2019/20 PSL joint top goalscorer said all he wanted was to help his club win the match.
“It is important for us to win our games. I am happy to have returned to the starting line-up and I will make sure that I cement my position. We will make sure that, during the return match, we continue from where we stopped in Angola,” Mhango said.
Meanwhile, another South Africa-based Malawian coach John Maduka led Bloemfontein Celtic against Rivers United of Nigeria in the Caf Confederation Cup Wednesday.
The second leg matches will be staged on January 6.