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We once squeezed life out of their game

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The D-Day is finally here when the Flames need to prove their prowess as they take on Zimbabwe Warriors in their first assignment of the 2017 Africa Nation Cup.

The match will be watched by over 22,000 people at the dreaded Kamuzu Stadium. This is the same venue where the so called Zimbabwe Warriors was embarrassed in 1994’s Africa Nations Cup qualifier. The Warriors tumbled 3-1 before we held them to one draw in Harare.

Memories are still fresh how the late Hendrix Banda (May his soul rest in peace), John Maduka and Albert Mpinganjira, in his debut game, with the assistance of Ernest ‘Livewire’ Mtawali dismantled the then Dream Team brick by brick.

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Memories are still fresh, how Banda managed to secure a point in a reverse fixture in Harare despite the tight surveillance of former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar in goals.

Both the Ndhlovu brothers, Peter and Adam, the Mugeyi brothers William and Wilfred, Vitalis ‘Digital’ Takawira, Francis Shonayi and Norman Mapeza, just to mention afew, were all part of the Dream Team whose plans to qualify for the 1996 South Africa’s Africa Cup of Nations finals were shattered by the Flames. The pampered Zimbabwe team collected an embarrassing one point from a possible six.

However, today all patriotic Malawians must put on red attire to show solidarity behind the Flames.

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Football Association of Malawi has done its part in preparing the team for this encounter, spending millions of kwacha in the process.

The Flames have played against Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa and Egypt including the three Cosafa games in readiness for this fixture.

For the first time Fam has shown a desirable commitment to assist the team. Fam president Walter Nyamilandu and his backroom staff deserve a pat on the back.

Having stayed in this profession for over two decades, I can confidently say that there is no time in the history of Malawi football the Flames have ever had such fantastic preparations.

It is, therefore, the turn of the supporters to boost the morale of the team. Wearing red and sitting quietly on the terraces like statues means nothing to the team, there is need for vocal support.

Don’t give room for excuses to coach Young Chimodzi and his players.

Let’s hope that they learnt a bitter lesson from the recent Cosafa match against Mozambique that complacency, lackadaisical attitude and lack of concentration can cost a team fortune.

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