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Flames to start with Mauritius

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Malawi’s Flames will open the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Castle Cup preliminary round campaign with a match against Mauritius on May 28, organisers have announced.

Cosafa’s secretariat released the fixture on Wednesday evening, hours after conducting the draw for the regional football showpiece which is scheduled to kick off on May 27 in Polokwane City, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

The Flames, who bowed out of last year’s competition without scoring in three games, take on Botswana on May 30 before winding up Group B qualifiers with a match against three-time champions Angola on June 1.

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Both games will be played at Seshego Stadium whereas the Mauritius match is scheduled for Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, which means place of safety in South Africa’s vernacular.

Overall winner of the group will date Zimbabwe in the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Botswana warmed up for the contest against Malawi by beating Zimbabwe’s Warriors 1-0 in a friendly played in Harare on Wednesday.

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Kobamelo Kabaikanye’s 21st minute strike spoiled the hosts’ party in the match that was part of the inaugural Zimbabwe President Independence Cup at the National Sports Stadium.

In a post-match interview with Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper, Botswana Coach, David Bright, said he used the match to prepare for the Cosafa tournament.

“This is a new team which we are trying to assemble for Cosafa. So I am happy with the win and the way we managed the game after scoring. I think it was fantastic.

“These guys had strong character. They can fight, they played according to our instructions because we just told them that once we get a goal we will definitely not allow them to score,” www. herald.co.zw quoted Bright as saying.

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