Flames give away lead to draw with Tanzania
THE Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, gave away a 1-0 lead to draw 1-1 against Tanzania in a friendly match played at Dar Es Salaam’s Uhuru Stadium yesterday.
Coach Ronny van Geneugden deployed an attacking 4-3-3 formation with Robert Ng’ambi being entrusted with the role of linking up defence and attack. Ng’ambi opened the scoring through a header from Richard Mbulu’s cross with ten minutes to go before half time.
The Malawians held on to the slender lead until the break. But five minutes into the second half, Tanzania came back into the game to score what is reported to have been a controversial equaliser.
According to Flames Team Manager James Sangala, the goal should not have stood because goalkeeper Charles Swini picked up the loose which was heading for goal before it crossed the line.
From that stage, the match became temperamental as players and officials from both sides vented their anger on each other. This resulted into Geneugden and two Tanzanian players getting marching orders as the referee tried to stamp his authority on the game.
The nine-man Taifa Stars held on until the end to frustrate the Flames who could not make their numerical advantage count Sangala said it was a good match in which the Flames commanded the better part of the proceedings.
He said the team created numerous scoring opportunities which could have given them victory.
“We would have been leading 2-0 by half time. We were also good in the second half but the controversial goal disturbed us,” Sangala said.
He blamed the referee for spoiling what he said would have been a great game for both sides. Sangala said even the Tanzanians themselves were not happy with the officiation and the Tanzania
Football Federation president personally apologised to the Malawi delegation for what happened.
Starting lineups Malawi: Charles Swini, Gomezgani Chirwa, John Lanjesi, Dennis Chembezi, Yamikani Fodya, Chikoti Chirwa, Ng’ambi, Gerald Phiri Jnr., Gabadinho Mhango, Mbulu, Christopher John Banda Tanzania: Aishi Manula, Erasto Nyoni, Gadiel Michafi, Abdi Banda, Kelvin Yondan, Himid Mao, Simon Msuva, Hamis Abdallah, Mbwana Samatta, Raphael Daudi, Shiza Kichuya.
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