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Flames duo out of Lesotho friendly


James Sangala

The Malawi National Football Team has suffered a setback after defenders Precious Sambani and Gomezgani Chirwa have been ruled out of the international friendly against Lesotho due to injuries.

The Flames will host Lesotho at Bingu National Stadium on February 25 in preparation for TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against Egypt next month.

In an interview Thursday, Flames Technical Support Manager James Sangala said the two Nyasa Big Bullets players have been excused to give them time to recover.

“For Sambani, he was with us last week but we were advised that he needs time to recover. But Chirwa did not report for camp as Bullets doctors are still assessing him due to a hamstring injury,” Sangala said.

Both Sambani and Chirwa sustained the injuries while playing for Bullets last season.

According to Sangala, the team regrouped on Monday at Mpira Village without Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Silver Strikers players following an agreement with the two teams.

“We agreed with the two teams to allow their players to remain with them to focus on pre-season preparations. They will join us on Sunday in Lilongwe,” he said.

The Flames are expected to relocate to Lilongwe on Sunday ahead of the friendly next week.

After the match against Lesotho, the Flames are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia for two-week camp before facing Egypt away and at home between March 20 and 28.

Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica is expected to travel with Malawi-based players to Saudi Arabia as the foreign land-based players will not be released outside the Fifa Calendar window.

However, Marinica was not available for his comment Thursday.

After two-rounds of matches, Group D is wide open as all the four teams have three points each. The Flames are second behind Ethiopia on goal difference.

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