Malawi, Swaziland share Spoils in AFCON Qualifiers

Malawi National Football team’s dream of qualifying for the 2017 AFCON tournament slowly fades as it has been held by Swaziland.

Held to a 2 all draw by Swaziland: Flames
Held to a 2 all draw by Swaziland: Flames

Flames started on a high note with Chiukepo Msowoya and Robin Ngalande on the attacking positions and Gerald Phiri Jr together with Chimango Kayira, Mecium Mhone and John Banda controlled the mid-field.
Gerald Phiri Jr opened the score line early in the first half to give the flames hope of winning the game. In a situation which seemed ridiculous, Flames’ new captain Limbikani Mzava failed to clear Swaziland’s free kick and saw him beating his own goalkeeper to make it 1 – 1.
Gerald Jr: netted the first goal
Gerald Jr: netted the first goal

Before the end of the first 45 minutes, Chiukepo Msowoya headed in Chimango Kayira’s free kick to put the visitors ahead.
Yamikani Chester made his debut at the end of the first half following Mecium Mhone’s injury. Veteran mid fielder Robert Bargio Ng’ambi was left on the bench for the whole 90 minutes.
Ng'ambi: was not featured into the game
Ng’ambi: was not featured into the game

As the second half began, Flames seemed to be playing out of mission as the players started loosing passes regularly. When everybody thought that Flames has collected first three points in the qualifying stages, Richard Chipuwa failed to clear a ball from a free kick and the game was now going at 2 – 2.
Mtawali introduced two more debutants, Isaac Kaliati and Chawanangwa Kaonga for Robin Ngalande and Yamikani Chester respectively but nothing seemed to be changing as the hosts continued coming towards flames’ goal looking for a winning goal.
After the game, Flames’s coach Enerst Mtawali said he was not impressed in how his team played and promised to bring change in Flames’ next game which is against Guinea at Kamuzu Stadium.
The team which travelled to Swaziland was a changed one as Flames’ coaching panel dropped veterans such as Captain Joseph Kamwendo, vice captain Lucky Malata, Fischer Khondowe, Esau Kanyenda, Harry Nyirenda and Frank Banda and brought in new faces in name of Stanley Sanudi and Isaac Kaliati of Mighty Be Forward Wanderers, Yamikani Chester of Azam Tigers, Manase Chiyesa of Kamuzu Barracks, Bright Munthali of Fisd Wizards and Chawanangwa Kaonga of Chibuto fc.
Former president of Malawi, Dr. Bakili Muluzi was also present at the stadium.
Kanyenda: was not named in the final squad ...Photo by Philip Maeta / Gallo Images
Kanyenda: was not named in the final squad …Photo by Philip Maeta / Gallo Images

With today’s draw, Flames has a single point from possible six points following its loss in hands of Zimbabwe in their opening game at Kamuzu stadium.
Malawi is expected to play Guinea in their next match at Kamuzu stadium. In another game, Warriors of Zimbabwe came from behind to draw with Guinea 1-1

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