Ernest Mtawali admits keepers’ headache


Malawi national football team coach, Ernest Mtawali, is concerned with the recent poor form of the Flames’ goalkeepers, forcing him to frequently change the goal-minders.

“To be honest, we have been having problems with the goalkeepers. The major problem is consistency. They are not bad goalkeepers. But we need somebody who is consistent,” Mtawali said before the Flames’ departure for Guinea, via Sierra Leone, on Sunday.

Mtawali has travelled to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Guinea with uncapped John Soko and Brighton Munthali from Blue Eagles and Silver Strikers respectively.


“The position is very important for the national team or a club, so we need somebody who has the confidence and the consistency. Maybe we might get one from Soko and Munthali,” the coach added.

After taking over from Young Chimodzi last year, Mtawali dropped MacDonald Harawa due to poor form, and featured Richard Chipuwa in a friendly match against Uganda, before trusting the Be Forward Wanderers goalkeeper again during a two-all draw against Swaziland away in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Mtawali then dropped Chipuwa after some questionable goalkeeping, and recalled experienced goalkeeper Simplex Nthala, who was inactive in Mozambique.


Nthala featured in home and away ties against Tanzania in an ill-fated World Cup qualification campaign. The Flames lost 2-1 on aggregate.

Mtawali has dropped Nthala, and recalled Mozambique-based goalkeeper, Charles Swini, for back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Guinea this month.

But Swini would not make it for the first leg in Conakry on Friday due to logistical problems.

Mtawali has, meanwhile, backed the two uncapped goalkeepers to perform well against Guinea.

“We have worked with them for the past three weeks and they have done well in training. Each and every player deserves a chance,” he explained.

“I remember when I got a chance to play for the national team, Collins Thewe, was the holding midfielder for the national team. He got injured. I got the chance to play and I never looked back. It is the same with these players. This is their platform.”

The Flames and Guinea have a point each from two matches in the qualifiers, and they both need maximum points in the two ties to catch up with Swaziland and Zimbabwe that have four points each.

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