Malawi National Beach Soccer team faces a daunting task when they meet Morocco at the ongoing 2022 Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals at Vilankulo de Arena in Mozambique this afternoon.
This is a must win match for Malawi to keep their dream alive of qualifying for Beach Soccer Afcon semifinals.
A loss in today’s match will end Malawi’s hopes of reaching the last four but they will play in the fifth place play-off as the third placed team in Group A which has three teams only following Nigeria’s withdrawal.
The odds are stacked against Malawi, who are the only debutants at this year’s tournament, as Morocco are one of the favourites having finished third during the 2021 edition.
Despite the loss in the opening match, morale is high in Malawi camp ahead of the second match this afternoon.
For Malawi to win today’s match, they must be brave. Again, they should utilise their chances and be compact at the back.
Malawi Coach Willy Kumilambe said his charges will tread cautiously as there is no room for error.
“The players are in good mood. All the games are tough but we get maximum points against Morocco,” Kumilambe said.
Kumilambe will likely maintain the starting that lost to Mozambique.
Goalkeeper Justine Bonongwe will retain his place alongside Martin Biliati, Sandram Saddie, Isaak Kajamu and Dala Simba.
Saddie and Simba will be hoping to continue from where they left having scored a goal each in the opening match.
Ahead of the match, Saddie said they were determined to collect all the points.
“We are ready for them. We know this is a very important match for us,” Saddie said.
As we went to press, Mozambique were in action against Morocco.
In Group B matches on Saturday, defending champions Senegal made a statement of intent after thrashing Uganda 10-1 at Vilankulo de Arena.
Egypt beat Madagascar 4-3 on post-match penalties after a four-all draw in regulation time. The result means Egypt only collected one point.