Flames itch for revenge
Malawi National Football Team will be hoping for a perfect result when they host Lesotho in an international friendly at Bingu National Stadium this afternoon.
This a perfect opportunity for the Flames to avenge the 2-1 loss they suffered at the hands of Lesotho during the 2022 Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.
However, the odds are stacked against the Flames having failed to beat Lesotho in the last four matches.
The Likuena (Crocodiles) of Lesotho have won two matches against the Flames with two matches ending in stalemate.
The last time the two sides met at BNS was also in an international friendly match but the match ended in a 1-1 draw in 2018.
Surely, the Flames will be hoping to break the jinx against Lesotho.
Again, this is the first match for Malawi on home soil since they drew 1-1 against Mozambique in Nations of African Championship (Chan) in August last year.
Malawi and Lesotho are separated by 23 places on Fifa rankings with the Flames on position 124 whereas the Likuena are ranked 147 in the world.
Flames coach Mario Marian Marinica said the match against Lesotho will help him assess the players.
“The game is a great opportunity to calibrate our squad, review our playing philosophy and set up a platform for the Egypt game approach. As usual, regardless of our opponents, we will approach the match to win,” Marinica said.
The Romanian said he might also give youth brigade a chance.
“We also have an eye for the future so you may be surprised to see some younger players,” he added.
Stanley Sanudi is likely to captain the side in the absence of John Banda whereas 2022 Goalkeeper of the Season Brighton Munthali will keep his place with Lawrence Chaziya and Miracle Gabeya partnering at the back.
Chimwemwe Idana, Micium Mhone, Stain Davie and Chiukepo Msowoya are also likely to start.
Both Malawi and Lesotho are using the match as part of preparations for their respective matches in the 2024 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
Malawi will face Egypt away in Cairo on March 24 before hosting the Pharaohs at BNS four days later.
On the part of Lesotho, they will face Zambia. Lesotho Coach Veselin Jelusic told Africa Press that Malawi play similar football to Zambia.
“Malawi is very tough and good side like Zambia. They will surely throw everything at us to win the match being the home team,’’ Jelusic was quoted as saying.
The Flames will travel to Saudi Arabia for two-week camp before flying to Egypt.
Group D is wide open as all the four teams have collected three points from two matches. The Flames beat Ethiopia 2-1 in the first match before a 1-0 loss to Guinea away.