Familiar story! Malawi national football team has failed again, beaten 0-3 by Zimbabwe in Harare on Sunday for the Warriors to clinch a place in the finals of Africa Cup of Nations and the Flames are out.
Malawi conceded first goal in the first 14 minutes when Knowledge Musona plant the ball into the net to keep the partisan crowd escatic through a spot kick.
The referee awarded the penalty after Flames keeper Charles Swini had brought down Musona inside the penalty box following a set piece.
The visiting Flames still looked composed after conceding the goal and nearly levelled the scores in the 29th minute but there was no one to slot the ball home as it passed the goal mouth following a Josephy Kamwendo free kick.
But the Flames resistance never lasted long as Zimbabwe’s man of the moment who last Monday Swept three awards in the South African Premier League Khama Billiati produced a perfect finish after receiving a decent ball from Musole.
It was the second goal that disturbed the Flames almost in all departments with only Kamwendo, Stanly Sanudi on the right back and Rafiq Namwera on the centre who played his debut displaying some classic individual brilliance.
This forced Flames coach to make his first substitution bringing in Gabadinho Mhango for John Banda.
It was a surprising substitution though as everyone thought he would bring out stand in captain Chiukepo Msowoya who was completely out of the game.
Immediately after recess, Mtawali made a second substitution bringing in Jomo Cosmos midfielder Micium Mhone who was later substituted again (for Muhammad Sulumba) replacing Wonderful Jeremani.
But the substitution never yielded results as the Flames continued to struggle from the midfield going upfront while on the other hand, their defence marshalled by Black Leopards player Harry Nyirenda along side John Lanjesi, Francis Mlimbika and Sanudi continued to be pierced
by Billiati and Musona.
It was Zimbabwe’s substitute who hit the last nail on Flames coffin at the dot of 90 minutes.
Qualifying for the Nations Cup would be a consolation for Zimbabwe after they were thrown out of 2018 World Cup qualifying for failing to pay a former coach.
The last time Malawi qualified for Afcon finals was in 2010 under Kinnah Phiri, now coaching Mbeya Utd in Tanzania.
In other Group L match, Swaziland have beaten Guinea 1-0 in Mbabane, that means Zimbabwe have qualified for 2017 Afcon finals.
Zimbabwe leads in Group L with 11 points followed by Swaziland who have eight points.
Guinea comes third with five points while Flames anchors the table with two points.
Flames will face Swaziland at home in September in the last game of the 2017 Afcon finals qualifying campaign.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :