Flames ready for Lesotho


Malawi national football team host Lesotho at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe today in what is the Flames Coach Ronny van Geneugden’s fifth warm-up match in eight months since being hired.

Comparatively, the Belgian coach, who is implementing his passing football philosophy, has had the luxury of friendlies.

The sooner he starts delivering, the better as, in 10 games of all competitions, he has won twice, lost thrice and drawn five times.


Van Geneugden replaced as permanent coach, Ernest Mtawali, who in his first 10 games, chalked three wins, two draws and lost five times.

In today’s game, the Flames are expected to make home-ground advantage count on the venue where they beat Comoros Island 1-0 in June, courtesy of Gerald Phiri Junior’s free-kick.

Phiri is available after passing a late fitness test, but his preferred partner in attack, Gabadinho Mhango, is an injury doubt. First-choice goalkeeper Charles Swini is also tied up at his club, Songo in Mozambique.


Overall, van Geneugden will be without four players from the squad that beat Comoros, as midfielder Frank Banda and striker Richard Mbulu are also injured.

However, the Flames welcome back Captain, Limbikani Mzava who missed last month’s friendly in Tanzania due to injury. Malawi is preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations Cup (Afcon) qualifiers.

Mzava, Yamikani Fodya, John Lanjesi and Stanley Sanudi are expected to play in defence with John Banda, Chikoti Chirwa, Robert Ng’ambi and Dalitso Sailesi deployed in midfield.

In Gabadinho’s absence, Robin Ngalande and Chiukepo Msowoya might get the nod to try and unlock the water-tight defence of the Coach Moses Maliehe-led Lesotho.

Going into this friendly, van Geneugden told The Daily Times that he was happy with the performance of his charges in training.

Lesotho, who play a defensive game while thriving on counter-attacks, are in a buoyant mood after beating Zimbabwe 1-0 through Hlopo Kalake’goal in Maseru on Wednesday.

Maliehe, whose charges are warming up for next March’s Afcon qualifier against Cape Verde, is excited with the prospect of taking on Malawi.

In the last two meetings, Lesotho beat the Flames 1-0 and drew 0-0.

“Every team in our (Afcon) group has equal chance of qualifying and friendlies against Zimbabwe and Malawi will help us a lot”, Maliehe told Lesotho Times.

“I am happy with our preparations. We train from Monday to Wednesday and send players back to their clubs because they have a busy schedule of league matches.”

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