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Mario Marinica beefs up squad

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RECALLED—Gabeya

Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica has included five new players in the provisional squad for TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (Chan) Algeria 2022 second round qualifier against Mozambique next week.

Marinica has recalled Mighty Mukuru Wanderers trio of defender Miracle Gabeya, attacking midfielder Yamikani Chester and striker Muhammad Sulumba.

Blue Eagles midfielder Gilbert Chirwa and Dedza Dynamos Salima Sugar goalkeeper Donnex Mwakisinga have also been included.

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The Romanian told Fam website that the door was open for in-form players.

“I always said the players have to be in form in order to be considered for the national team and those that are back in the squad and the new ones have shown great potential and are in form. We are still monitoring players, so the door is still open for everyone,” Marinica said.

Chester, Gabeya and Sulumba impressed during Wanderers’ 3-3 draw against Nyasa Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.

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Sulumba scored the equaliser whereas Chester has been part of the Flames squad but was dropped after poor performance during the Cosafa Cup in South Africa. Gabeya returns to the Flames fold after close to two years.

The Flames regrouped Monday after the players were released for weekend fixtures in the TNM Super League.

However, Bullets players did not join camp as they are traveling to the Northern Region to face Chitipa United in the quarterfinals of the FDH Bank Cup.

Again, Kamuzu Barracks duo of Patrick Banda and Herbert Wayenkha also did not join camp as they are also expected to face Wanderers in FDH Bank Cup this weekend.

The Flames host Mozambique in the first leg at Bingu National Stadium on August 27 before traveling to Maputo for the second leg a week later.

Sports analyst Parley Chinyama said Marinica had pressed a panic button.

“It shows he just want to get public sympathy. I was surprised why Chester was dropped. He should have been in the first squad. It will be difficult for the players to gel,” Chinyama said.

Malawi qualified for the second round of Chan qualifiers without kicking a ball after Zimbabwe were disqualified due to Fifa ban whereas Mozambique eliminated Zambia following 1- 0 victory on aggregate.

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