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Malawi under-17 in flying start

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Malawi under-17 national football made a serious statement of intent in their quest to reclaim the Cosafa Youth Championship following a 3-0 drubbing of South Africa at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre Saturday.

There were doubts over Malawi’s hastily assembled side after 12 players were dropped for being over-aged.

However, the hosts demonstrated will power and hunger to win the game.

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Their first half performance was more of individual brilliance than team effort.

Mike Thom opened the scores before Dave Tobias grabbed a brace in the second half to delight the fully parked stadium.

The victory was not without drama as Malawi were reduced to 10 men after Andrew Lameck was shown a red card for fouling an opponent but by then, victory had already been assured.

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Thom’s goal came in extra-time of the first half after connecting home a Chikumbutso Salima cross.

Barely nine minutes into the second half, Tobias scored Malawi’s second goal to cushion the lead.

In the 58th minute, Tobias completed his brace with a deft finish to earn his Man-of-the- Match award.

South Africa interim Coach, Vela Khumalo, was frustrated with the result after his charges matched Malawi in the opening stages.

“This is not the best way to start a competition. We gave away a goal and it was difficult to bounce back,” Khumalo said.

Malawi Coach, De Klerk Msakakuona, said it was a perfect start.

“This is a dream start and it feels great to win. This has given us the confidence to fight to the end. In the first half, we missed a lot of chances,” Msakakuona said.

In another match, Zambia thrashed eSwatini 6-0. The junior Flames face eSwatini while South Africa will battle against Zambia Monday.

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