President Lazarus Chakwera led Malawians in congratulating Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, on their 2–1 win over Zimbabwe in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals Friday in Cameroon.
The Flames recovered from a 1–0 loss to Guinea in the opening match Monday to beat Zimbabwe Friday.
Chakwera, who hosted the team to a luncheon after qualifying for the Afcon finals in March last year, hailed the team in a statement.
“The First Lady and I are delighted to congratulate the Flames on their victory over Zimbabwe in the second match at the 2021 Afcon tournament. Thank you for maintaining a fighting spirit which is what we stand for. It is the final score that matters. Well done. Moto kuti buu,” Chakwera said.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama watched the match against Zimbabwe in Cameroon.
After the match, Msungama alongside Football Association of Malawi (Fam) president Walter Nyamilandu visited the dressing room and celebrated with the team.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, also in a statement, congratulated the Flames on the win.
“The Flames’ extraordinary performance and their subsequent triumph on Friday was phenomenal and has brought some excitement and happiness to football lovers in particular and Malawians in general,” Principal Secretary Oliver Kumbambe said in a statement.
“We wish the Flames more grace and hard work for the highest standard of performance during their next game on January 18.”
Striker Gabadinho Mhango scored a brace after Ishmael Wadi gave Zimbabwe the lead.
The Flames will face Senegal in the last group match Tuesday.
Following the win over Zimbabwe, the Flames are third in Group B with three points just one point behind joint-leaders Senegal and Guinea, who shared the spoils after a goal-less draw Friday.
Two teams from each group will automatically advance to the Round of 16 and they will be joined by overall four best losers of the six groups.
Malawi have never reached the knockout stage of the competition after they were knocked out in the group stages in 1984 in Ivory Coast and 2010 in Angola.