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Malawi fine-tune with Ethiopia in Bahir Dar

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Meck Mwase

Bahir Dar is one of the leading tourists’ destinations in Ethiopia, but Flames are not there as tourists.

The Flames step onto the turf of Bahir Dar Stadium for a friendly against Ethiopia with a mission to fine-tune ahead of two crucial 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against South Sudan and Uganda.

The Flames arrived in Bahir Dar Tuesday and had a feel of the match venue late in the afternoon.

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Both Malawi and Ethiopia are using the match to fine-tune ahead of their respective Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers next week.

The Flames, who are in Group B of the Afcon qualifiers, will face South Sudan away in Khartoum on Wednesday March 24 before hosting Uganda five days later whereas Ethiopia will host Madagascar.

The Flames and Ethiopia have met 11 times since 1989 in all competitions, with Malawi registering three victories, two losses and six draws against Ethiopia.

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Before departure, Flames coach Meck Mwase said the fixture would give him a clear picture ahead of the Sudan match.

“We all know the importance of the matches against S. Sudan and Uganda. We have done our homework and we are confident that we will do well. But the match against Ethiopia is an opportunity for us to measure our strengths and weaknesses,” Mwase, whose charges have only scored two goals but conceded five goals in four Afcon matches, said.

In this afternoon’s match, Mwase will feature majority of home-based players as captain John Banda, Schumacher Kuwali and Robin Ngalande are the only foreign land-based stars available for this afternoon’s clash.

Mwase has the luxury of trying different combinations and partnerships in today’s match. The rest of foreign land-based stars will fly straight to Sudan for the Afcon qualifier.

AmaZulu defender Limbikani Mzava, Polokwane City FC striker Khuda Muyaba have been included in the squad.

The Flames are third with four points from four matches, just four points behind leaders Burkina Faso whereas Uganda are second with seven points.

  1. Sudan anchor group B with three points from the same number of matches. Group winners and runners-up will qualify for the finals to be staged in Algeria next year.

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