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Junior Flames focus on bronze

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Malawi Under-17 National Football Team, the junior Flames, have turned their focus to bronze as they face Botswana in the 2022 Cosafa Boys Championship at Bingu National Stadium.

The junior Flames were eliminated from the TotalEnergies Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon)/Cosafa qualifier following 5-1 loss to South Africa on Friday night at the same venue.

For the second time in a row, the junior Flames will battle for bronze. They won bronze last year after beating eSwatini 4-0 in Maseru, Lesotho.

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After the loss to South Africa, Under-17 coach Deklerk Msakakuona said the focus will be on the match against Botswana.

“We will plan for the game against Botswana. We need to win for us to get something. W e anticipate a tough one,” Msakakuona said.

Malawi and Botswana also met in the group stages but the two teams shared spoils after a 2-2 draw. The junior Flames failed to qualify for next year’s finals.

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However, South Africa were made to work hard. Thato Sibiya opened the scoring for the Amajimbos in the first half.

Leading goal-scorer Siyabonga Mabena doubled the lead after the break before Lucky Mkandawire pulled a goal back for Malawi, giving false hopes of coming back into the match.

Dhakier Lee restored their two-goal advantage before Mabena converted a penalty, which they got after Malawi goalkeeper Julius Banda fouled a South Africa player.

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