Malawi under-17 national football team is hoping for a flying start when kicking off the 2019 Cosafa Under-17 Youth Championship campaign against South Africa at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe Township, Blantyre, this afternoon.
Pressure is definitely on the junior Flames to replicate the 2001 feat when they won the regional championship on home soil.
Malawi under-17 Coach De Klerk Msakakuona said it was important for Malawi to win and end the 18-year drought.
“We are cautious and we will try our best to win. We have performed well in the previous editions having won bronze medals twice,” Msakakuona said in reference to the team’s exploits in 2016 and 2017.
The junior Flames defeated the Amajimbos 2-1 during the 2017 edition of the championship to win bronze.
Malawi Captain Clifford Chimlambe said winning was their ultimate mission.
“We have a huge task to win the trophy again. We will do our best to achieve this,” Chimlambe said.
To reach the semifinals, the junior Flames must be among the top two teams in their four-team group. Zambia and eSwatini are the other teams in the group.
Amajimbos acting Coach, Vela Khumalo, said he has a good team.
“Our ambition is to top our group and possibly fight for a place in the final,” Khumalo told South African Football Association’s website.
The competition kicked off yesterday Friday.
Meanwhile, delegates were treated to a cock-tail at Sunbird Mount Soche in Blantyre on Thursday evening.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said they were humbled that the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations allowed Malawi to host the tournament again.