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Malawi suffer second successive loss in Afcon qualifiers

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

So lions can put out a fire and douse flames! The anguish continues and Malawi cannot win a match, let alone score a goal.

The Flames gave some false hopes Friday in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon by holding on until the 62nd minute when their hosts finally wore down their resistance with the lone goal of the match.

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Malawi walked out of the Omnisports Ahmodoue Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde with yet another embarrassment, a 1-0 loss that sent their campaign to qualify for the finals off balance.

It was the Flames’ second consecutive away defeat in the qualifiers after they were clobbered 3-0 by Morocco in Casablanca last month.

The loss means the Flames have failed to win a match in West Africa in 26 outings since 1980. Malawi will host Cameroon in the return leg at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Tuesday.

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Eric Chiupo Moting scored the lone goal of the match to secure maximum points for the Indomitable Lions who already qualified for next year’s finals by virtue of being hosts.

Moting was given plenty of space on the edge of the box before firing a powerful shot into the top corner beating Flames goalkeeper Charles Swini.

Cameroon top Group B with seven points from three games whereas the Flames are still third with three points from the same number of games.

Morocco are second with the same number of points but the Atlas Lions were in action against Comoros Islands as we went to press.

In a game monitored through online live streaming, the Indomitable Lions dominated the match by playing attacking football and forced Swini to make two saves in quick succession in the first half.

Swini denied Malong Peirre in a man-to-man situation after 12 minutes in the first half. The hosts continued to pile pressure on the visitors but Swini was equal to the task.

In the absence of injured Captain, Limbikani Mzava, up-and-coming defender Dennis Chembezi started in his place with Yamikani Chester also getting a rare start.

Chester was one of Flames’ best players alongside John Banda in the first half. But as usual, the Flames sat too deep allowing the Indomitable Lions to pressurise them.

At the end of the first half, Cameroon had seven goal attempts with the Flames only trying twice. The hosts enjoyed the lion’s share of possession throughout the first half.

Malawi and Cameroon went for recess with the scores reading 0-0. In the second half, the Flames displayed an improved performance with Gabadinho Mhango and Chikoti Chirwa playing good football.

Mhango broke away inside the box but Cameroon cleared the ball for Malawi’s first corner of the match. Jabulani Linje paved way for Mozambique-based Richard Mbulu to add firepower upfront.

Chiukepo Msowoya came in for injured Chembezi.

Line-ups:

Cameroon—An d re Onana, Jerome Onguene, Yaya Banana, Michael Ngadeu, Ambroise Oyongo, Frank Andre Zambo, Malong Pierre, Eric Chiupo Moting, Jacques Zoua, Toko Ekambi, Frabrice Olinga.

Malawi—Charles Swini, John Lanjesi, Dennis Chembezi, Peter Cholopi, Precious Sambani, Stanely

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