Flames coach Ernest Mtawali’s reign of surprises continued after he axed Be Forward Wanderers goalkeeper, Richard Chipuwa, and striker Muhammed Sulumba, from Tanzania-bound squad.
Mtawali has since recalled Bloemfontein Celtic forward, Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango ahead of next Wednesday’s Fifa World Cup preliminary round qualifier against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars at Benjamin Nkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Mtawali has also included Mozambique-based goalkeeper, Simplex Nthala, rookie Levison Maganizo of Fisd Wizards, whereas Azam Tigers’ Yamikani Chester has been dropped. Former captain Joseph Kamwendo and defender Harry Nyirenda also remain out of the squad.
Chipuwa’s axing does not come as a surprise as he was faulted for letting in cheap goals when the Flames drew 2-2 with Swaziland in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier recently.
“I have not been told the reasons for my exclusion. The coach knows better and I respect his decision. I was not expecting it. I have questions, but the answers are hard to get. I am a football person, so I hope to bounce back,” said Chipuwa, whose dropping comes after goalkeeper trainer, Phillip Nyasulu’s release last week.
Announcing the squad yesterday during a press briefing at Chiwembe Technical Development Centre, Mtawali said the changes were made based on performance and game-plan, among others.
“Without giving away much especially considering that we are now in a digital world [where information spreads fast], we are playing away, but we won’t play too deep. Just like we did in Swaziland, we will take the game to them while exercising caution at the same time by holding possession as much as we can,” he said.
Mtawali conceded that Tanzania were a transformed side having made strides as evidenced by their performance against African giants Nigeria.
He said the second phase of preparations would continue with the coming in of foreign-based players, adding “It will be for a few days, but we will make the best of it.”
Meanwhile, Flames players were released for club assignments this weekend and they will regroup tomorrow evening in Lilongwe before leaving for Tanzania on Sunday morning.
Full squad: Goalkeepers; Nthala (Maqaxuene), Brighton Munthali (Fisd Wizards).
Defenders: Stanley Sanudi (Be Forward Wanderers), John Lanjesi (Civo United), Yamikani Fodya, Miracle Gabeya, Pilirani Zonda (all Big Bullets), Limbikani Mzava (Mpumalanga Black Aces South Africa).
Midfielders: Isaac Kaliati (Be Forward Wanderers), Chimango Kayira (Costa de Sol, Mozambique), Robert Ng’ambi (Platinum Stars, South Africa), Micium Mhone (Jomo Cosmos, South Africa), John Banda (Blue Eagles), Maganizo (Fisd Wizards), Gerald Phiri Jnr (BidVest Wits), Dalitso Sayilesi (Big Bullets).
Strikers: Manase Chiyesa (Kamuzu Ba r r a cks ) , Robi n Ngalande (Platinum Stars, South Africa), Chawanangwa Kawonga (FC Chibuto, Mozambique), Mhango (Bloemfontein Celtic South Africa).
Head coach (Ernest Mtawali), assistant coach (Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan) , t e am manage r (Clement Kafwafwa), goalkeeper trainer (Swadick Sanudi) and leader of delegation Paul Mzungu.
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