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Richard Mbulu bites as Flames beat Togo

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Malawi National Football Team beat Togo 1-0 last evening for the Flames to wind up their training tour of Morocco on a high.

The Flames Coach, Ronny van Geneugden, made changes to the starting XI that drew 1-1 against Morocco Under-23 on Friday.

Zambia-based winger Dalitso Sailesi got the nod Monday ahead of Mozambique-based Frank Banda, Chikoti Chirwa of Red Lions started instead of John Banda as Azam Tigers’ Peter Cholopi paved the way for Yamikani Fodya in defence.

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On the other end, Turkey-based gangling striker Emmanuel Adebayor led Togo, who are coached by veteran Claude le Roy.

The game started on high tempo with the action swinging from one end to the other.

Malawi, after goalkeeper Charles Swini had stopped Lawson Josue’s free kick, responded on the other end by scoring through Richard Mbulu in the 15th minute.

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The Mozambique-based forward scored from Gerald Phiri junior’s corner kick as Malawi enjoyed possession. The only setback at this stage was left-back Fodya’s lack of pace and physical strength.

Togo searched for an equaliser, forcing two corner kicks in succession before Adebayor came close to scoring from a free kick.

The Flames, with Chirwa thwarting Togo’s attacks, Robert Ng’ambi and Sailesi keeping the supply lines open, held on to the lead going to half-time break.

When play restarted, it turned physical, with Gabadinho Mhango and Adebayor involved in heated exchanges. The South Africa-based striker was yellow-carded alongside Ng’ambi.

Togo threatened through Atakora Lalawere’s free kick but Swini proved equal to the task as he made a save. Adebayor also glanced a header over the bar.

Eventually, van Geneugden pulled out Mhango for John Banda.

It was the Belgian coach’s second win in nine games in charge of the Flames. In a post-match interview, van Geneugden said he was happy with his charges’ fighting spirit.

Going into yesterday’s match, Malawi had drawn 0-0 with Togo away before beating them 1-0 in Blantyre in 2011.

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