Malawi National Football Team is keeping its fingers crossed as the squad undergoes another Covid-19 test today ahead of crucial Group B tie against Senegal in Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.
Due to coronavirus infections, Flames kick-started their Afcon campaign against Guinea with a depleted squad but had a full house against Zimbabwe.
Flames Coach Meck Mwase, who is standing in for Technical Director Mario Marian Marinica, said having a full squad against Senegal Tuesday will give the Flames options.
“We want a full squad against Senegal. They have four points and we have three. A draw to them might sound good. On our part, we need nothing but all the three points. Going into a high-profile match like this one, we need every weapon at our disposal. So, let us wait and see the results of the test,” Mwase said.
Marinica, who has missed the team’s training sessions since arriving from Saudi Arabia where the team camped for 10 days, is also hoping for a good result as he has been in isolation for the past 10 days.
“As for me, I miss the team trainings. I also miss the touchline participation. I am also hoping for negative test result,” he said.
Similarly, Marinica said the Flames need a full squad when facing the number one team in Africa and 20-ranked side in the world.
“They will be looking for a result just as we want all the points against them. Having all our players gives the team a lot of confidence and determination,” he said.
Meanwhile, Flames injured captain Limbikani Mzava underwent a medical test yesterday to determine the extent of an injury that forced him out against Zimbabwe.
Mzava was replaced by Lawrence Chaziya midway through the first half after picking a hamstring injury.
Flames came from a goal down to beat Zimbabwe 2-1 courtesy of Gabadinho Mhango’s brace.
It was a crucial win as Malawi could have been eliminated out of the competition having lost to Guinea 1-0 Monday.
Malawi are third in Group B with three points whereas joint-leaders Guinea and Senegal have four points each.
Flames need to beat Senegal to reach the Round of 16 and also hope that pointless Zimbabwe beat or draw with Guinea.
Meanwhile, the Flames are toping the best loser chart with three points having scored and conceded twice in two games while Cape Verde are second.
Cape Verde have three points having scored and conceded once.
Four best losers of the six groups will join the top two teams from each group to progress to the Round of 16.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.