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Ernest Mtawali tips Flames youngsters

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Malawi national football team interim coach, Ernest Mtawali, has confidence in the youngsters that have been drafted into the senior national team.

Mtawali said he was optimistic that the up-and-coming players can go all the way to help the Flames succeed and become legends.

Mtawali said this on Monday at the Kamuzu Stadium after guiding the Flames to a 1-0 victory over Uganda during the country’s 51st Independence Day Anniversary.

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Chiukepo Msowoya headed in Yamikani Fodya’s cross six minutes from time.

It was Mtawali’s first match as interim coach after taking over from Young Chimodzi last month.

In the starting line-up, Mtawali gave youngster Stanley Sanudi an opportunity to make his debut while Isaac Kaliati came off the bench in the second half for his senior debut.

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Other youngsters Dalitso Sailesi, Bright Munthali, Yamikani Chester and Boston Kabango were also on the bench.

Mtawali said he was pleased with Sanudi’s performance at right-back and the impact Isaac Kaliati made from the bench.

He said all the Under-20 stars had a bright future with the senior national team.

“I am very happy. You look at a guy like Sanudi he has come in from the Under-20 and he made his debut on Independence Day and he did well. Looking back in history, I also made my senior debut on Independence Day in 1982. I believe these youngsters have what it takes to make it. I am happy with the way they have performed with the senior national team,” he said.

Mtawali added that he was also pleased with the performance of experienced players that were recalled to the national team.

Chiukepo, Richard Chipuwa, Sankhani Mkandawire, Philip Masiye, Deus Nkutu and Dave Banda featured for the Flames after a long absence.

“I have been watching Super League games, therefore, I featured the players on merit. They have been super with their teams. They have added a different dimension of how we can approach our game. I was particularly pleased with the performance of Masiye. He controlled the midfield well and he was always looking for the ball. But I think he has room for improvement,” he said.

Uganda’s coach, Sredojevic Milutin Micho, said their travel hiccups contributed to a bad start against the Flames.

“We could not connect from Entebe to Johannesburg on Sunday. Therefore, we were late by a day. We arrived at the time the game was supposed to kick off and we did not have time to warm up. Despite losing, I am happy with the performance of the youngsters. They did well in a match played before a big crowd. I congratulate Malawi for their Independence Day Celebrations,” Micho said.

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