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Junior Flames thump Angola

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The Malawi under-20 national football team yesterday produced a master class performance to overturn the tables in their 4-1 thrashing of Angola in the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Luanda.

The junior Flames are through to the third round against the odds as they lost the first leg in Lilongwe 2-1 last week.

They will now face South Africa who beat Mozambique 4-1 on aggregate.

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The Meke Mwase-led technical panel made four changes to the starting line-up that lost at Bingu National Stadium by resting goalkeeper Hastings Banda, Fransciso Madinga, Felix Dumakude and Levison Gopani for Charles Thom, Joseph Balakasi, Aupicious Kadzongola and Chikondi Mbeta.

The move paid dividends as Malawi surprised the hosts with two quick goals. Kelvin Kadzinje put Malawi ahead before Auscipicious Kadzongola added the second.

Mbeta increased the tally before Peter Banda put the game beyond Angola’s reach in added time of the first half.

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The hosts pulled one back but Malawi kept their cool to cling to the lead.

This is the first time the junior Flames have scored four goals in the competition as they were struggling to find the back of the net in previous games.

Relief was the prevalent emotion on the part of the junior Flames such that Mwase could not hide his excitement.

“My players deserve special thanks for a wonderful job. They are a special group of players and, if we continue working like that, we can do more,” Mwase said in a written message.

It was indeed party time for Malawi as the youngsters, led by leader of delegation Daudi Mthathiko, danced all the way to the dressing room.

Mthathiko said it was an emotional evening: “The boys have done us proud. They worked hard from start to finish.”

Malawi started the competition with a date against Kingdom eSwatini [formerly Swaziland] and reached the second round on away goals’ rule after 1-1 aggregate draw.

Line ups:

Malawi-Thom, Wali, Balakasi, Petro, Kadzinje, Maonga, Kadzongola, Daudi, Siliwimba, Banda, Mbeta

Angola-Edvado, Amor, Bravo, Kilola, Oliveira, Manuel, Domingos, Zeu, Jorge, Manuel, Mivo.

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