Former footballer Chiza Nyirongo, who came to prominence in mid 90s first playing for University of Malawi FC (UFC) then later with MDC United, questioned on Facebook coach Ernest Mtawali’s Flames call-up for the almost formality Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Zimbabwe.
He questioned the rationale of dropping Chimango Kayira, whom he call “a workaholic midfielder and Robert Ng’ambi, a creative midfielder.
His post received overwhelming response, the majority supporting Chiza’s opinion that the call-up was suspect even though this was just a formality match.
One response said our coaches seem not to have an idea of how to identify and subsequently correct the weak displays by some of those otherwise good players. “Are we saying every time a player plays below par, they be dropped from the squad? Are we going to remain with anyone in the end? We seem to be moving circles — when are we going to have a stable squad? Or are we going to be building forever? Even the so called under 23s are not promising as most of them are already finished. Why can’t we find out why our players don’t last? [It’s] a question the current technical team seem not to have answers to.”
That’s very true — when are we going to have a stable squad? Or are we going to be building forever? The performance of the Flames on Sunday was really pathetic. The players seemed disjointed. They misplaced passes, the lost possession too easily and we don’t seem to have a player who can ably break a tight defensive style of play that the Warriors employed.
What Malawians needed was a win to salvage some pride after two draws and two losses. The fans wanted the Flames to claim an emphatic win so that they go for this year’s Cosafa Cup in high spirits.
But after the 0-3 loss, people have now lost complete trust in this team, especially its selection of players, who don’t seem to want to reward the coach for being trusted to wear the national colours.
Zimbabwe did their homework so well — that is to be defensive but be swift in counter attacks. They won the penalty because they had broken the Flames defence, leaving goalkeeper Charles Swini to bring down his man in the box.
If Zimbabwe were to win this match, we expected the Flames to give them a good run for their money by also scoring but the Warriors have qualified for the 2017 finals on a silver platter.
Perhaps, the Flames should be prepared to beat Swaziland and help the Warriors’ cause. The Warriors have 11 points while the Swazis have eight having beaten Guinea 1-0 also on Sunday. If the Swazis manage to beat the Flames and Guinea beat Zimbabwe, they will tie but still Zimbabwe will qualify beca7se of head to head in which they won and drew with the Swazis.
However, let’s continue to wish the Flames well ahead of the Cosafa that starts from June 11−25 in Namibia. The Flames will start their Cosafa campaign against Angola in Group B that also has Lesotho and Mauritius.
Group A features Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Seychelles and one of the surprise packages from 2015, Madagascar. South Africa are seeded for the quarterfinals together with defending champions Namibia, last year’s runners-up Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia. The tournament has a guest nation in DR Congo, who are also seeded for the quarterfinals.
Hopefully, coach Mtawali will not experiment like he did with Zimbabwe. The team is expected to bring excellent results after the disappoint run in the Nations Cup as well as in the World Cup qualifiers.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :