By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Malawi Under-23 national football team came from behind to beat hosts Botswana’s Young Zebras 2-1 in the first leg of a 2020 Olympic Games qualifier at Lobatse Sports Complex in Gaborone yesterday.
The win is a big relief for the local football fraternity after the senior team lost 2-1 to Comoros Islands in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
Gregory Nachipo scored the winner in stoppage time to give the junior Flames a massive advantage heading into the Tuesday’s second leg at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The hosts grabbed the lead after 21 minutes in the second-half through Mothusi Cooper but substitute Hassan Kajoke, who came in for Mike Mkwate, netted the equaliser before Nachipo scored for Malawi to claim a famous victory at the facility which was officially opened by late Bingu wa Mutharika on his tour of duty to Botswana during his eight-year presidency.
Under-23 coach Meke Mwase praised his charges for a hard fought victory which gives Malawi an advantage to progress to the next round.
“It was a wonderful performance from the players and we are really happy with the victory. But we need to keep the momentum so that we qualify for the next round,” Mwase said.
Malawi will host Botswana in the second leg at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The overall winner between the two teams will face Zambia in the second round of the qualifiers.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues