Gerald Phiri Junior passes late fitness test
Malawi national football team versatile attacker, Gerald Phiri Junior, has declared himself fit for the friendly match against Lesotho, slated for Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday.
Phiri, who has been the Flames’ saviour in recent games, reportedly missed Tuesday morning training session after twisting a toe on his left leg.
But the talented winger, who scored free-kick goals for the Flames in recent back-to-back 1-0 wins over Swaziland and Comoros Island, resumed training yesterday, and confirmed that he was fine.
“It was a minor setback but I am now feeling good and I am ready for the game,” the former Zimbabwe’s Caps United attacker said.
The Flames Head Coach, Ronny van Geneugden, on Tuesday said the attacker informed the team doctor about the injury.
“He trained on Monday afternoon but he said to the team doctor that there is something from the past, so I will contact his team [Bidvest Wits in South Africa] and we will see what we can do,” Van Geneugden said.
The Belgian, who is eyeing a second home victory, said he was impressed with the players’ commitment.
“Everybody is excited to play for the national team. I see persons who are motivated and who want to die for the nation. They want to do everything for the national team. I see a lot of improvement from the local players,” he added.
The Flames Team Manager, James Sangala, confirmed that Phiri would be available for Saturday’s game.
However, Sangala said Dwangwa United goalkeeper Charles Thom was expected to resume training yesterday, after he missed Tuesday’s session with a minor injury.
Wanderers’ youthful left-back Precious Sambani also twisted his ankle on Wednesday morning.
Likuena of Lesotho, who are expected to arrive in the country today, took on Zimbabwe in another friendly in Maseru.
Malawi and Lesotho are preparing for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Morocco and Cape Verde Islands, respectively.
The Flames are second in Group A with three points, at par with Cameroon after a 1-0 victory over Comoros Islands whereas Lesotho are second in Group L with a single point.
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