By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi national football team Monday left for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon in Yaounde without Captain Limbikani Mzava.
Flames Team Manager James Sangala said Mzava called to notify officials about an ankle injury he picked while playing for his South African Premier Soccer League side Golden Arrows.
“Mzava called to tell us that he is nursing an ankle injury. We cross-checked with his club and they confirmed the development. We will certainly miss his services on and off the pitch,” Sangala said.
Nyasa Big Bullets left-back Yamikani Fodya has since taken up Mzava’s place in the travelling squad.
Sangala defended the replacement, saying it was not strange for a left-back to replace a centre-half in a team.
“It depends on your game plan. We have seen teams replacing defenders with strikers or vice versa. If such changes can happen during games, what more with merely naming a player to replace an injured colleague?” he argued.
Sangala said Monday’s departure for the match would give the team enough time to acclimatise before facing the Indomitable Lions.
“We will arrive in Cameroon on Tuesday afternoon [today]. This gives us Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for the match. We will return home on Sunday,” he said.
Cameroon lead Group B with four points whereas second-placed Morocco have three points and pip third-placed Malawi on goal difference after tying on points.
Comoros Islands anchor the table with a point.
The following is the full squad:
Goalkeepers: Charles Swini, Brighton Munthali
Defenders: Stanley Sanudi, Gomezgani Chirwa, Fodya, John Lanjesi, Dennis Chembezi, Peter Chilopi, Precious Sambani
Midfielders: Alfred Manyozo, John Banda, Frank Banda, Rafick Namwera, Jabulani Linje, Chikoti Chirwa
Strikers: Richard Mbulu, Gabadinho Mhango, Patrick Phiri, Chiukepo Msowoya, Yamikani Chester
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