Flames lose to Lesotho in practice match
Malawi National Football Team suffered a 1-0 defeat to Lesotho in a practice match at Civo Stadium Sunday.
The match was played just 24 hours after the two teams shared the spoils following a 1-1 draw in an international friendly at Bingu National Stadium. Thabang Malane scored the only goal of the match.
Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica made wholesale changes to the side that started on Saturday.
Only goalkeeper Brighton Munthali and defender Lawrence Chaziya retained their places.
Paul Ndlobvu, Kelvin Kadzinje, Chaziya and Blessings Mpokera started at the back, with Frank Willard and Chawanangwa Gumbo playing in midfield.
Gaddie Chirwa and Patrick Mwaungulu played in the wings whereas Christopher Kumwembe and Promise Kamwendo partnered upfront.
Just like on Saturday, it was a game of two halves as the Flames dominated the first half whereas Lesotho had a lion’s share of possession in the second half.
Despite being a practice match, the performance of the team could be of concern ahead of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against Egypt next month.
The Flames were wasteful in front of goal.
After the match, Marinica rued missed chances.
“Like yesterday [Saturday], we dominated the match but missed a lot of chances. They only had four shots all game and one was on target. Players lack game fitness,’’ the Romanian said.
Malawi finished the match with 10 men after Ndlobvu was sent off for a foul on a Lesotho player.
The performance of the team in two matches means the Flames have plenty of homework.
Sports analyst Peterkins Kayira said Marinica has a huge task to prepare the players ahead of the Egypt match.
“There is a lot of work to be done. The performance was awful,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Marinica has condemned some fans who started supporting Lesotho during Saturday’s match.
“It is not good to see such a thing happen. It is an issue to do with patriotism. They should show love to the players,” he said.
The Flames are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia for two-week camp before meeting Egypt on March 24 in Cairo and four days later at home.