Flames, Mozambique in face-saver battle

Meck Mwase

Bruised Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, are hoping for a face-saver when they face Mozambique in a dead-rubber 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup qualifier at Mathieu Kerekou Stadium in Benin this evening.

This is the last match for the qualifiers and Malawi go into the match licking wounds following three consecutive defeats in the qualifiers.

The Flames suffered a 4-0 embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at Orlando Stadium on Saturday. They also lost 3-0 and 2-1 to Ivory Coast last month.


However, today’s match could be a perfect opportunity for the Flames to sign off the qualifiers with dignity.

On the other hand, Mozambique, who have been whipping boys in Group D without a win, might also be looking for redemption.

In this tie, Malawi will be without five players, namely Christopher John ‘CJ’ Banda, Chikoti Chirwa, goalkeeper Brighton Munthali, Gerald Phiri Junior and Peter Banda.


CJ Banda is serving red card suspension whereas Chirwa has two yellow cards.

Peter and Munthali have been ruled due to injuries whereas Phiri Junior has excused himself.

Flames coach Meck Mwase said he would give a chance to some of the players.

“Our approach is to win the match to boost confidence of the players ahead of Afcon finals. It is time to give other players a chance so that they prove their class,” Mwase said in an interview from Benin yesterday.

In the absence of Banda and Chirwa, Mwase is expected to feature Tawonga Chimodzi and Chimwemwe Idana in midfield whereas either Richard Chipuwa or Ernest Kakhobwe will start between the sticks.

Strikers Khuda Muyaba and Richard Mbulu will likely keep their places upfront.

In the first leg, Malawi beat Mozambique 1-0 at Orlando Stadium courtesy of Mbulu’s goal.

Captain Limbikani Mzava also said the players were in high spirits ahead of the clash.

“We want to bounce back after the defeat to Cameroon,” Mzava said.

The Flames need a win or a draw to avoid finishing bottom in Group D as they have three points from five matches whereas Mozambique anchor the group with one point.

Leaders Ivory Coast have a tricky fixture against Cameroon away.

The Elephants top the group with 13 points, one point above Cameroon.

Ivory Coast just need a draw to progress to the final round of the qualifiers whereas Cameroon need a win.

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