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Flames coach happy with players’ attitude

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

HAPPY PEOPLE—Malawi national football team players pose in Yaounde before training

Malawi national football team, the Flames, Coach Ronny van Geneugden is brimming with confidence ahead of the crunch encounter against Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers at Omnisports Ahmadoue Ahidjo Friday.

The Flames had a light training session at Yaounde Military Stadium, just hours after arriving in Cameroon on Tuesday.

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After the training, the Belgian said he was pleased with his players’ attitude.

“We have a special plan for this match which we worked on while with the home-based players. I am happy with the atmosphere and the conditions here.

“Above all, I like the attitude of the players. You see fire in their eyes and that is the most important thing,’’ the Belgian told Football Association of Malawi (Fam) website.

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The Belgian is under fire following the dismal performance of the Flames in all competitions, having won twice in 17 games.

One of the Flames’ influential players, John Banda, said he was also confident of doing well against the reigning African champions.

“We are ready for the match and we have faith in everybody who is here. People are not giving us a chance but we can do well against Cameroon,” the former Blue Eagles attacking midfielder said.

In this match, Malawi will miss the services of Captain Limbikani Mzava and attacking midfielder Gerald Phiri Junior due to injuries.

Cameroon will also be without Stephane Bahoken due to injury.

The Flames are third in Group B with three points from two games, but trail leaders Cameroon by one point from the same number of games.

Morocco are second in the group with three points from the same number of games whereas Comoros Islands anchor the log table with a single point.

Malawi started the qualifiers with a 1-0 victory over Comoros at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe in 2017 before losing 3-0 to Morocco last month.

The Flames have remaining fixtures against Comoros away, Morocco and Cameroon at home.

The winner of the group will qualify for the Afcon finals. In the event that Cameroon finish top of the group, the second best side will sail through.

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