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Lazarus Chakwera, Senegal coach acknowledge Flames

Lazarus Chakwera

The positive vibes surrounding the Flames continue, with State President Lazarus Chakwera and Senegal Coach Aliou Cisse acknowledging their achievements at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Malawi are eagerly waiting for confirmation of a best loser slot in the last 16 after tying with second-placed Guinea on four points.

The Flames defied the odds by beating Zimbabwe 2-1 and holding Africa’s top side Senegal to a barren draw.

Their only dent was the 1-0 loss to Guinea in their opening Group B match.

The win helped the West Africans to advance to the last 16, courtesy of the head-to-head rule.

In a message sent through Presidential Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda, Chakwera said he was proud of the Flames.

“Flames, we are so proud of you. Your unwavering spirit and tenacity raised the country’s flag high. Whatever happens, walk with your heads up for the future is bright. Mwaipatsa moto,” the message reads.

Cisse told Cafonline that they got a good challenge from Malawi.

“But I am happy we came back strongly in the second round but failed to utilise our chances. We have lacked efficiency at the front but we want to ensure we have a different strategy going into the next round of matches as we hope for more goals.

“I said from the word go that we should be humble as a team and even though many people expect us to win by big margins, we have played formidable teams and the most important fact is that we have qualified as the top team in the group,” he is quoted as saying.

Flames technical panel head Mario Marinica described the four points as a tremendous achievement for his team.

“We have been adapting a different system and the players managed to adapt and now we are on cloud nine. We played for the entire Malawi nation as the country has been experiencing problems like flooding and the good performance has given them a new spirit and encouragement.

“We have achieved our mission in the tournament despite myself and other players having suffered from Covid. The team has been strong as we implemented our strategy against our tough opponents,” Marinica told Cafonline.

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