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Simplex vows to deliver

Malawi national football team, the Flames goalkeeper, Simplex Nthala, has vowed to bounce back with an improved display Sunday when Malawi host Tanzania’s Taifa Stars in a must-win Fifa World Cup Preliminary qualifier.

Nthala took a portion of blame for the Flames’ second goal when they lost 2-0 to Tanzania in a preliminary round first leg match on Wednesday at Dar es Salaam’s National Stadium.

The defeat undermined the Ernest Mtawali’s charges of progressing to the next round.

Nthala, recalled after a year-long absence, dropped the ball after communication breakdown with captain Limbikani Mzava, leaving Tanzania’s Thomas Ulimwengu free to slot in the second. His TP Mazembe team-mate, Mbwana Samatta, had opened the scoring.

“I am only frustrated with the second goal. Poor judgement on that bouncing ball from the cross [let me down]. I guess I had a good game though,” said the Mozambique based goalkeeper.

The form of the former Be Forward Wanderers custodian is suspect as he is serving a year-long league suspension at Maxaquene Football Club in Mozambique after being accused of assaulting a referee.

“I could have done better in both goals. After staying months without game time, I still feel I didn’t lose my touch. This game has given us good experience. I am hoping for more to deliver for the nation,” he added.

In March 2014, former Flames coach Young Chimodzi, axed Nthala after he let in cheaply two goals during a friendly game which Zimbabwe won 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium.

However, Nthala custodian refused to dwell in the past.

“If we continue playing as we did on Wednesday [in the second half], winning is a possibility at home even by more than three goals. I believe in my capabilities. It is easy to see mistakes when you are on the bench or in the terraces. Mistakes are part of the game,” he insisted.

Mtawali, speaking on arrival on Thursday evening, said some six players in the starting line in Tanzania had a bad day at the office.

“But, I am happy with the performance of the players that came off the bench. They did well and the second half performance was encouraging. We just need to give our best. Tanzania scored two goals at home and we can do the same here,” he said.

The Flames need to win by a three-goal margin to make it to the next round where they will face Algeria for a place in the group qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) general secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, yesterday said Mtawali and his panel have taken note on the possibility of hot weather on Sunday and adjusted training accordingly.

Flames were from yesterday training from 10 am to 1 pm.

On Sunday, temperatures are expected to range between 35 and 45 degrees celcius due to low pressures affecting the entire Southern Africa. The pressures have a tendency of drawing warm tropical airflow. Malawi Meteorological Services were not readily available for a comment.

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