Flames run riot in Saudi Arabia
Malawi National Football Team directed their anger towards a wrong opponent when they beat relegation-threatened Saudi Second Division side Al-Ansar 8-0 in an international training match at Prince Mohammed Bin Abdul-Aziz Sports City in Saudi Arabia Friday.
The victory comes just three days after the Flames drew 1-1 with lowly-ranked Bangladesh in another training match at the same venue.
It goes without saying that Malawi should not get carried away with the victory against the struggling Saudi club ahead of the 2024 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt later this month.
However, Flames Coach Mario Marinica can still draw some positives from the match as his troops made use of the chances they created.
Probably, they met a weak opponent that could not provide them the real test they need in readiness for the Egypt encounters.
In a match streamed on Football Association of Malawi’s Facebook page, defender Lawrence Chaziya opened the floodgates in the 25th minute before another defender Stanley Sanudi doubled the lead four minutes later.
Stain Davie added the third goal for Malawi before the break.
After recess, substitute Gaddie Chirwa scored the fourth goal from the spot after he was fouled in the box.
Chaziya netted the fifth goal of the match to complete his brace before Francisco Madinga netted the sixth.
Chirwa then completed his brace before another substitute Chawanangwa Gumbo sealed the victory.
This is the fourth friendly for the Flames ahead of the Egypt match on March 24 in Cairo and at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe some four days later.
Malawi played two friendlies against Lesotho in which they drew 1-1 and lost 1-0.
Captain John Banda and Madinga were the only foreign-based players who played yesterday, with Scotland-based Kieran Ngwenya and Micium Mhone taking a break.
According to information sourced on the internet, Al- Ansar are fighting relegation, lying second from bottom in the Saudi Second Division.
Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina described fine-tuning against a struggling team as a disgrace to Malawi football.
“A cricket scores does not help matters as we prepare for Egypt. We could have done better with our training opponents despite the trip being fully-funded,” Kaudza- Masina said.
The Flames are second in Group D with three points behind Ethiopia on goal difference. Guinea and Egypt are third and fourth, respectively, also with three points each.