The Flames bowed out of the 2022 Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup with some dignity after they defeated Mauritius 2-0 in the last Group B match at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa, last night.
This is Malawi’s first win in the Cosafa Cup in two consecutive years after they failed to register victory during the 2021 edition.
With the victory, the Flames finished on position three in Group B with four points from three matches after a 2-1 loss to Lesotho and a 1-1 stalemate against eSwatini.
In three matches, the Flames registered four goals and conceded three goals.
During the 2021 edition, the Flames also scored four goals in four matches but conceded seven goals.
This means the Flames have nothing to show again after they featured a strong squad this year.
After a barren first half in which the Flames had a lion’s share of possession but wasted several chances, the goals came in the second half.
Defender Stanley Sanudi and substitute Micium Mhone were on target for the Flames to ensure maximum points.
Sanudi, who captained the side, opened the scoring after he pounced on a rebound to hit the roof of the net after Peter Banda’s free kick had hit the wall.
Mhone scored in the 89th minute with a cool finish from a Gabadinho Mhango half corner.
With nothing to lose after they exited the competition on Friday following a 1-1 draw with eSwatini, Flames coach Mario Marinica made some changes as he dropped, majority of senior players.
Captain John Banda, Precious Sambani, Mhango and Khuda Muyaba, who started in the opening two matches against Lesotho and eSwatini, were relegated to the bench.
Goalkeeper Clever Mkungula retained his place in the starting line-up alongside Kelvin Kadzinje and Paul Ndhlovu.
Patrick Mwaungulu and Dan Cimbalanga started the match.
However, Flames wasted several chances, with Banda, Stain Davie and Chiukepo Msowoya being the main culprits.
Banda had a grand game and was named man of the match.