No time to rest
South Africa-based stars to arrive in Sudan Tuesday
Malawi National Football Team Coach Meck Mwase will wait until tomorrow to have a full squad ahead of the crucial match against South Sudan slated for Khartoum National Stadium on Wednesday.
The Flames squad, comprising 18 players and officials, is expected to arrive in Sudan today after camping in Ethiopia where it suffered a 4-0 humiliating defeat to the hosts last week.
However, there was good news Sunday after all the players and officials tested negative for coronavirus in Ethiopia.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions and Communications Director Gomezgani Zakazaka said all the players would be in Sudan by tomorrow morning.
“It is good news that all the players passed Covid tests. We expect to be in Sudan by Monday 2am ahead of the match. The rest of the players from South Africa will be the last group on Tuesday,” he said.
South Africa based-players namely Limbikani Mzava (AmaZulu), Gabadinho Mhango (Orlando Pirates), Richard Mbulu , Gerald Phiri Junior (both Baroka FC), Khuda Muyaba and Chembezi Dennis (both Polokwane FC) will arrive in Khartoum tomorrow, a day before the match.
Mhango was expected to take part in the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs yesterday whereas Mzava’s AmaZulu were in action against TTM.
Mbulu, Muyaba and Chembezi played for their respective clubs on Saturday.
This means SA-based players will only have one or two training sessions before the match against Sudan.
According to Zakazaka, Moldova-based duo of Peter Banda, Charles Petro of Tirapol Sheriff and Francisco Madinga of Dira Goli FC of Georgia are expected to arrive today.
Mwase featured majority of home-based players in a match against Ethiopia. Captain John Banda, Schumacher Kuwali and Robin Ngalande were the only foreign land-based players who played the match.
Both Mwase and CJ Banda admitted that the Flames were not at their best against Ethiopia.
However, Mwase, while concerned with the defeat to Ethiopia, was optimistic of getting a positive result against Sudan.
Malawi will host Uganda on March 29 at Kamuzu Stadium.
Only group winners and runners-up will qualify for next year’s finals to be staged in Algeria.
The Flames are third with four points from four matches following a 1-0 victory over Sudan and a goal-less draw with Burkina Faso.
Malawi lost two matches 3-1 away to the Stallions and 2-0 to Uganda’s Cranes.
Burkina Faso top the group with eight points, followed by Uganda on seven points. Sudan anchor the group with three points.