Flames face Lesotho at Bingu on February 25
Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, will face Lesotho in an international friendly on February 25 at Bingu National Stadium.
The match has been organised as part of preparations for the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against Egypt next month.
This will be the first match for the Flames since September last year, when the team met Mozambique in Nations of Africa Championship (Chan) qualifiers.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) President Walter Nyamilandu confirmed the development, saying the match will help the Flames fine tune.
“The friendly will be an opportune moment for the Flames to regroup, having been inactive for quite some time. There is a need for the players to gain match fitness and prove their readiness to face the Pharaohs of Egypt,” Nyamilandu said.
The 26-member squad of local players went into camp at Mpira Village Sunday. The first camp session will end on Wednesday before the players are released to their respective clubs.
The team will regroup on February 14 ahead of the friendly.
Malawi and Lesotho also met during the 2022 Cosafa Cup in which the Flames lost 2-1 in Durban, South Africa.
This will be the first friendly for Malawi in a year after they beat Comoros Islands 2-1 in Saudi Arabia enroute to Cameroon.
Flames coach Mario Marian Marinica said the friendly will help him assess the players.
“This could be an excellent opportunity to celebrate our local players’ game understanding, give them a chance to play a competitive match as the majority have not played any game since December, others as far as November,” Marinica said.
As part of preparations for Egypt matches, the Flames will also travel to Saudi Arabia for two-week camp.
Meanwhile, Nyamilandu has said they had fruitful discussions with their Saudi Arabia counterparts.
“They have agreed to fully finance our training camp to Saudi Arabia in March. We are just waiting for their written confirmation so that we finalise modalities,” he said.
The Flames will face Egypt home and away between March 20 and 28.
All the four teams in Group D have three points each after two matches.
Ethiopia lead the group above Flames on goal difference, whereas Guinea and Egypt are third and fourth, respectively.