By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi under-23 national football team Coach, Meke Mwase, has commended his charges’ fighting spirit that saw them come from behind to defeat hosts Botswana under-23 2-1 in a 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualifier on Saturday.
Mwase also credited the double substitution he made towards the end of the game, saying it injected life into the team as it faced imminent defeat.
Malawi conceded in the 66th minute through Mothusi Cooper following communication breakdown between goalkeeper Rabson Chiyenda and his defenders.
According to Mwase, Chiyenda misjudged a cross following a defensive mix-up but the Flames Reserve still managed to do what their seniors failed to in Comoros Islands on the same day.
“We thank God for the victory. It was tough playing away. Even though we were trailing, the boys kept pushing forward in search of goals.Advertisement
“We also made substitutions resting Mike Mkwate and Enerst Tambe for Francis Mkonda and Hassan Kajoke. The two came with a good attitude and this helped us to continue pressing forward. We eventually got an equaliser and the winning goal,” he said.
Substitute Kajoke provided the final flourish to level the scores in the 85th minute before Gregory Nachipo scored the winner four minutes later.
However, Mwase warned his charges against complacency, saying the battle is still on.
“We still need to keep our foot on the pedal if we are to progress to the next round. The battle is not over yet. We still need to keep our faith and fight hard to win the return match,” he said.
The two teams meet again tomorrow at Kamuzu Stadium where a draw will be enough for Malawi to go through.
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