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We are still in it—Meck Mwase

Captain apologises for the loss

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Meck Mwase

Malawi national football team Coach, Meck Mwase, has said his charges should not be counted out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification race despite slumping to third position in group B.

Mwase made the remarks after the Flames jetted in the country Monday from Uganda where they lost to the Cranes 2-0 at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole on Sunday.

“It is too early to count us out of the race. We still have four games to play to determine our destiny. The game itself was the best teacher and we will address our problems,” he said.

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Malawi, with three points following their 1-0 win over South Sudan, have dropped to third position in group B behind leaders Uganda and second-placed Burkina Faso. Both Uganda and Burkina Faso have four points each.

Mwase said the coaching panel would request Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to arrange special training camps to enable the side to gel and stay fit.

“If we can be meeting regularly I believe we can address our problems,” he said.

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The former Flames defence pillar reiterated that the door to the national team was open as such outstanding players both young and experienced would be considered for selection.

Meanwhile, Mwase defended his team selection in the 2-0 loss to Uganda’s Cranes.

The Flames were exposed at the back throughout the game and individual errors cost the team the match.

Mwase opted to maintain Gomezgani Chirwa in a left back position due to the absence of first choice defender Precious Sambani who is injured.

But Chirwa was involved in the mistakes which led to the two goals the Flames conceded against the home side.

In post-match interview, Mwase said he had trust in the team which defeated South Sudan 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Wednesday last week.

“Sometimes you trust the team that won because there was nothing wrong to change the winning the team. We had trust in the team which won against South Sudan but playing away is always difficult and maybe because of the environment the players were a bit jittery. The game itself is the best teacher; we have seen where we need to work. The players must understand and know how important to win home games to qualify for the finals,” he said.

The loss to Uganda was Mwase’s first defeat in open play since he took over after replacing Belgian Ronny Van Geneugden in June this year after impressive results at Cosafa Cup in South Africa.

Malawi’s next fixture will be an away match against Burkina Faso in August next year before hosting them in September.

The Flames now remain with two home games against Uganda and Burkina Faso.

Meanwhile, speaking after arrival in the country Monday, Flames stand-in captain John Banda delivered a message of discontent with the fans reactions with the loss on Social Media.

“We played to win the game but it happened that things did not go according to our plans. The coach chose the best team so the fans should understand that not everyone can play in a single game. It is good to give respect to the players that played the game, although we lost,” Banda said.

The Flames last qualified for Afcon finals in 2010 after collecting four points.

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