Malawi National Football Team Coach Meck Mwase has expressed satisfaction with preparations for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against South Sudan and Uganda.
The Flames left for Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, Monday for a friendly tomorrow ahead of a must-win match against South Sudan on March 24 in Khartoum, Sudan.
Malawi started preparations with home-based players at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre last month.
Mozambique-based players later joined the squad which comprises 16 Malawi-based stars and 12 others plying their trade in other countries.
Speaking before departure, Mwase said the friendly was important as the team had been idle since playing Burkina Faso late last year.
“I would like to thank Fam [Football Association of Malawi] for allowing us to camp for three weeks with local players. The Ethiopia match is very important as we have stayed for a long time without playing an international game. The local players have stayed for a long time without playing competitive games and the friendly will help them to catch up,” he said.
Mwase said his charges were prepared to win the two matches and make the country proud.
“Every player will be given the chance to prove that they deserve a place in the team. The friendly will also help us to decide who plays in Khartoum. I just want my players to give out their best in every match. We need to try out the system we want to use in Khartoum and correct our defensive flaws. We need to tighten our defence and, at the same time, create scoring chances. We need to start scoring if we are serious about qualifying,” Mwase said. chance to prove that they deserve
Flames captain Christopher John Banda said they need to be on top of their game if they are to get a result in Sudan.
“We expect South Sudan to be tough this time. They will come flat out after losing the first match. But we know what to expect and we will use the Ethiopia friendly to improve our fitness levels. We also need to work on coordination and learn to close down spaces quickly while also creating scoring chances,” the skipper said.
The Mozambique-based Banda and Schumacher Kuwali flew off with the squad and are available for the friendly alongside Robin Ngalande, who is based in Ethiopia.
The rest of the foreign country-based players will fly directly to Sudan.
Malawi will host Uganda on March 29 at Kamuzu Stadium.
The Flames are third in Group B of the continental qualifiers with four points, four behind leaders Burkina Faso and three behind second-placed Uganda.
South Sudan anchor the table with three points.
Below is the full squad:
Goalkeepers—Brighton Munthali (Silver Strikers), William Thole (Mighty Wanderers), Ernest Kakhobwe (Nyasa Big Bullets)
Defenders—Stanley Sanudi, Peter Cholopi (both Wanderers), Precious Sambani, Nickson Nyasulu (both Bullets), Paul Ndhlovu (Mafco), Limbikani Mzava (Amazulu, South Africa), Charles Petro (Sheriff Tiraspol, Moldova), Dennis Chembezi (Polokwane City, South Africa).
Midfielder—Chimwemwe Idana, Chimango Kayira (both Bullets), Chikoti Chirwa (Red Lions), Rafick Namwera (Wanderers), Micium Mhone (Blue Eagles), Patrick Banda (Ekwendeni Hammers), Duncan Nyoni (Silver Strikers), Gerald Phiri Junior (Baroka, South Africa) Peter Banda (Sheriff Tiraspol), Francisco Madinga (FC Dila Gori, Georgia), John Banda (UD Songo, Mozambique).
Strikers—Schuma cher Kuwali (UD Songo), Vincent Nyangulu (Wanderers), Gabadinho Mhango (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Richard Mbulu (Baroka), Khuda Muyaba (Polokwane City), Robin Ngalande (St George, Ethiopia).
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.