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Meke Mwase to face familiar opponents

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

MEKE MWASE

Interim Malawi national football team coach, Meke Mwase, is set to face familiar opposition in eSwatini when he leads his charges in the first leg of the 2020 African Nations Championship in Mbabane on Saturday.

Mwase was in charge of one of eSwatini’s top clubs, Mbabane Highlanders, between 2015 and 2016, when he almost lifted the league title.

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This is likely to give him an edge over the hosts as he knows most of the players who will feature for the home side.

But one of Malawi’s coaches, Thom Mkorongo, said, despite having a coach who has worked in eSwatini, the Flames should exercise caution.

Mkorongo said eSwatini is an improved side after their clubs’ participation in Caf Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions over the past seven years.

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“eSwatini is one of the teams which have improved recently and most of their players are locally-based; so, they have a good squad. But I think Mwase and his staff have the capacity to beat them,” Mkorongo said.

Mwase might be in high spirits ahead of the match as most of the players shone for their respective clubs in the TNM Super League.

Striker Khuda Muyaba hammered a hat trick as Chiukepo Msowoya netted a brace whereas another striker Zicco Nkanda was also on target for Wanderers. Patrick Phiri and Gomezgani Chirwa were also on target for their respective teams.

Malawi failed to progress to the next round of the last edition when they lost 2-0 on aggregate to Madagascar.

They lost 1-0 away in the first leg before losing by a similar margin in the second leg at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

The Flames regrouped on Sunday at Mpira Village to continue their preparations after players were released for club assignments.

Mwase said he was excited that all his players had reported for training.

“We had a good first week of our preparations, but we took a break for Super League games. All the players are fit and in good shape as we continue our preparations. This is the final week of our preparations and we want to have a picture of our team,” Mwase said.

The Flames are expected to fly out of the country on Thursday for Mbabane, eSwatini.

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