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Flames finish on position three

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By Ronald Mpaso:

Malawi national football team benefitted from Comoros’ 3-0 loss to Cameroon on Saturday to finish third in Group B of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

According to log tables posted on cafonline.com, Malawi finished ahead of Comoros courtesy of less goals conceded.

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The table shows the two teams with a similar goal difference of -4 after Malawi scored 2 goals against six while the Indian Ocean island team netted five times against nine.

Both teams finished on five points after playing six games, winning once, drawing twice and losing thrice.

Statistics also indicate that the Flames scored the least number of goals and conceded the second highest number of goals.

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Malawi opened the campaign with a 1-0 win over Comoros, followed by a 3-0 loss to Morocco.

The Flames went on to lose 1-0 to Cameroon before holding the African champions to a barren draw.

Malawi lost their fifth match 2-1 to Comoros before finishing with a 0-0 stalemate against Morocco.

Interestingly, Morocco and Cameroon also finished the qualifiers with a tie on 11 points each.

But Morocco won the group because of a superior goal difference of five against Cameroon’s four.

Morocco scored the most goals at eight whereas Cameroon came second best with six.

Football Association of Malawi Technical Director, John Kaputa, asked for more time to comment on the matter while General Secretary Alfred Gunda said he was yet to check the group statistics.

But speaking to reporters after the Morocco match at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Friday, Flames Coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) said he was pleased with his team’s home record.

Malawi did not lose at home and kept a clean sheet in three matches where they scored one goal.

“Of course we lost three away games but, at home, we showed some great quality as we played against very strong teams,” RVG said.

Morocco Coach Herve Renard was quoted by Nation on Sunday as asking Malawi to maintain the Belgian trainer despite failing to qualify for Afcon finals.

“The coach is doing a good job and I hope he will continue on the same way because sometimes to build something takes one or more years,” the double Afcon-winning coach said.

RVG’s two-year contract ends this month and it remains unclear whether the deal will be renewed.

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