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Flames lose 7 in 10 games

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Lovemore Fazili

Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, reached their lowest ebb ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in January 2022.

The 4-0 loss to Cameroon was Malawi’s third consecutive defeat in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers following 3-0 and 2-1 losses to Ivory Coast last month.

In five matches, the Flames registered four losses but defeated Mozambique 1-0 in September.

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To make matters worse, the Flames have registered seven losses, two draws and one win in the World Cup qualifiers, Cosafa Cup and one international friendly.

At the 2021 Cosafa Cup, the Flames failed to win a match in four matches after suffering a 2-0 loss to Mozambique, 2-1 to Senegal, 2-2 draw against Zimbabwe and 1-1 draw against Namibia.

Before the Cosafa Cup, Malawi lost 2-0 to Tanzania on June 13 2021 in an international friendly at Benjamin Nkapa Stadium.

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The results are a clear testimony that the Flames are on the decline under Meck Mwase since beating Uganda 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in March this year.

Surely, this should be a concern for the Flames ahead of the Afcon finals.

After the match against Cameroon, Flames Assistant Coach Lovemore Fazili was frustrated with the result.

“We did not play as expected and conceding four goals is not good for a team which is preparing for Afcon finals. This is a bad performance. What we planned it was not what the players showed,” Fazili said.

Fazili admitted that the Flames do not have a first choice goalkeeper saying the three goalkeepers, namely Brighton Munthali, Richard Chipuwa and Ernest Kakhobwe have been conceding silly goals.

“We do not have a number one goalkeeper. We will make an assessment from these goalkeepers on who will be starting at Afcon finals,” he said.

Flames midfielder John Banda was shown a straight red card for blocking a goal-bound shot.

Following the loss, Malawians from all walks of life expressed their anger through social media.

Football analyst George Chiusiwa did not mince words on his post on Facebook.

“It’s embarrassing to the core. Shameful, awful and horrible. It is clear we have terrible technical problems and deficiencies at the national team.

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