By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi national football team caretaker Coach, Meke Mwase, has admitted that his charges are, at times, making mistakes due to fatigue at the on-going Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.
The Flames have played five games in eight days and face Bafana Bafana Friday in the Plate Section final.
Mwase said this after his team beat Comoros 2-1 at Princess Magogo Stadium on Tuesday evening to book a Cosafa Plate final against South Africa Friday.
“I would say that we are making some mistakes due to immaturity and fatigue. We have played a lot of games and credit should go to the boys for withstanding the heat. We just need to refresh,” he said.
In the Plate semi-final, Flames went ahead through Richard Mbulu’s 30th minute header but Comoros responded on the hour mark through Elhaddad Hachim before substitute Chikoti Chirwa restored Malawi’s lead after connecting home a Gerald Phiri Junior’s corner-kick at full- time to seal the win.
It was the Flames third victory in five games at the competition, after also beating Seychelles (3-0), Namibia 2-1, drawing 1-1 against Mozambique and losing 4-2 on post-match penalties to Zambia following a 2-2 deadlock in regulation time.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President, Walter Nyamilandu, has applauded the Flames for qualifying for the final and promised to reward the players.
He said the pledge to reward the players is subject to Fam Executive Committee’s nod.
“The performance of the Flames at the Cosafa tournament has been outstanding and has surpassed the expectation of everyone else. The most important thing is that the team is now scoring goals freely and is playing with flair and panache,” Nyamilandu said.
“It’s a youthful team that has potential to go an extra mile and stand the test of time. The squad is deep and versatile as there is now competition for places. We are extremely proud of the resounding success at the Cosafa Tournament where the young Flames have reached the Cosafa Plate final.”
Nyamilandu acknowledged Mwase’s exploits after he took over the mantle on interim basis following the sacking of Ronny Van Geneugden (RVG) under whose reign the Flames failed to win six consecutive Cosafa Cup games for 2017 and 2018.
“Meck Mwase has proved his worth, justifying that we made the right choice in appointing him as the interim coach of the Flames, having worked as coach for the Malawi under-20 and under-23 squads. We are glad that he has proved his worth as a graduate of the mentorship programme which was organised by Fam under the tutelage of RVG,” he said.
Nyamilandu said the association looks forward to building on this momentum so that the team can excel in the forthcoming World Cup qualifying campaign which begins in August 2019.
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