Malawi under-17 national football team showed its impotent seniors how it is done on the international stage, registering a second win on the bounce in a 5-0 victory over Zimbabwe’s young Warriors Monday to qualify for the Cosafa Youth Championship semi-finals.
Malawi can afford a draw tomorrow when lining up against Mauritius and still join Mauritius, who are also through after beating Botswana 2-1 in another group A qualifying match.
Malawi might date either South Africa or Zambia, who according to some reports, are at the centre of age-cheating allegations that, as was the case last year, might lead to their suspension. The Daily Times is yet to get an official position on the incident.
The star of the Group A show was attacker Chinsinsi Maonga, who grabbed a double in fashion and provided an assist to walk off the Stade St Francois Xavier pitch, in Port Louis City, with a man of the match award.
Maonga has three goals in two games at the tournament having also scored in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Botswana.
Zimbabwe, coached by Moses Chunga, started the game promisingly, with English Brown earning a free-kick on a promising position after Malawi midfield anchorman David Daudi had fouled him in the seventh minute. But the set-piece delivery came to nothing.
Once Malawi had weathered the early storm, there was no stopping them. First, Franklin Titani showed deadly composure, leaving three defenders for dead before placing his shot into the net in the 16th minute. Zimbabwe substituted Brown for Manyuchi.
But the more they substituted, the more Malawi scored, with Maonga adding the second goal in the 42nd minute. It took three minutes into the second stanza for Chikondi Mbeta to grab a cushion goal for the Deklerk Msakakuona boys.
Maonga was the creator in chief. Mbeta was part of last year’s bronze winning act alongside captain Haji Wali, who manned the defence yesterday.
Maonga added the fourth in the 62nd minute before Patrick Mwaungulu hammered the final nail on Zimbabwe’s coffin in added time.
In a post-match interview, Malawi Team Manager, Peter Mponda, hailed the junior Flames.
“We enjoyed ourselves. The performance was more convincing than the scoreline. We wasted a lot of chances. It is work in progress,” Mponda said.
Malawi under-17’s performance is in sharp contrast to the senior Flames, who made history for all the wrong reasons at the senior version of the regional football showpiece, going three games without locating the target.
While the senior Flames survived for just a week at the Cosafa Cup in South Africa, the juniors are on course for a longer stay in Mauritius.
Starting XI: Kennedy Nakhaima, Innocent Shema, Tathedwa Willard, Wali (Nyirenda),Daudi, Auspicious Kadzongola, Prince Chingancheke (Mwaungulu), Joseph Balakasi, Titani (Tsamba), Maonga, Mbeta
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues