Gabadihno Mhango, Charles Swini ruled out
Malawi national football team striker Gabadihno Mhango and goalkeeper Charles Swini are doubtful for the international friendly against Lesotho Saturday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The Bidvest Wits striker (Mhango), who is banned for six games in South Africa’s Absa Premier Soccer League for a spitting offence, twisted his foot on Wednesday afternoon whereas Swini had, as of yesterday, not reported for training due to contractual issues at his club, HCB de Songo, in Mozambique.
Addressing journalists in Lilongwe after Thursday morning’s training session, the Flames Head Coach Ronny van Geneugden, and Team Manager James Sangala said the duo were doubtful for the match.
Sangala said, although doctors were assessing Mhango’s injury, chances were slim that he could feature on Saturday.
“I think he has slim chances of passing a fitness test. He was limping, meaning [that] he was feeling pain. On Swini, we have given up [on him] and we do not think he would make it for Saturday’s game. The chairperson of his (Swini) club was reportedly meeting all the players on contractual issues, so it is doubtful that he will be available,” Sangala said.
In the absence of Mhango and Richard Mbulu (due to injury), the Belgian has several options upfront, including Chawanangwa Kawonga, Atusaye Nyondo, Robin Ngalande, Jabulani Linje and Fletcher Bandawe.
Richard Chipuwa and Brightone Munthali are goalkeeping options in the absence of Swini.
Be Forward Wanderers right-back Stanley Sanudi and Civo Sporting Club defender Gomezgani Chirwa are also battling for fitness after sustaining minor injuries.
Malawi and Lesotho are preparing for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Morocco and Cape Verde Islands, respectively, early next year.
Lesotho, who were expected to arrive yesterday, warmed up with a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru on Wednesday. Likuena netted through substitute Hlompo Kalake.
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