Phiri salutes junior Flames


Malawi under-20 national football team Head Coach, Gerald Phiri Senior, has hailed his fearless boys who, once again, showed character to keep Zambia at bay on Friday and leave the Cosafa Junior Championship hosts in a near crisis.
“We had a game-plan and we stuck to it. It was not easy and I am happy we got the result,” Phiri said after the Group A game played at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.
Zambia Head Coach, Mumamba Numba, said his boys tried their best considering the fact that he assembled the team hastily due to limited time.
“Let me congratulate my colleague [Phiri] for his team’s good performance. My team also did well. We are using the tournament to prepare for the 2019 Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] and that is why we are using under-17 players.
“We are the defending champions and as you know, the previous under-20 squad graduated; but we were given just four weeks to come up with a team. It was not easy. We did not have enough time to come up with a formidable team, so what do you expect us to do? We had to do with what we had at our disposal,” Numba said.
Next, Malawi and Zambia take on Uganda and Swaziland respectively at the same venue tomorrow in matches that would decide the semi-final qualification race from the group.
The junior Flames have made great strides in this year’s competition as opposed to last year’s in South Africa where they were booted out in the preliminary stages after failing to score in three matches.
But Phiri kept his faith in 11 of the players and added several new faces from the FMB under-20 League and some Super League teams.

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