Malawi coach bracing for tight finish in World Cup qualifying

Malawi head coach Edington Ng’onamo believes the qualification for 2014 World Cup will go to the wire.

He said after Malawi was held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Namibia, opening the way for Nigeria to establish a two-point lead atop Group F after four of six games in Africa’s qualifying competition.

“I think the qualification will be decided up to the last game,” said Ng’onamo.

“It is a very competitive group. We will raise our game for the next fixture. We have to think positively,” Ng’onamo told Nyasa Times.

Ng'onamo: Its not over until it is over...Photo Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

Ng’onamo: Its not over until it is over…Photo Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

“The battle is still on,” he said taking pride with a creditable one point.

Commenting on the qualification showdown against Namibia’s Brave Warriors, he said the draw result was not fair.

“We had a lot of ball possession. We tried to shoot at goal but we were just unlucky we dint win,” he said.

During game against Brave Warriors, the Flames were disjoined and the midfield lacked spark.Wingers Fischer Kondowe and Douglas ‘Chibadula’ Chirambo also did not tick from the flanks.

The finishing was also poor to the disappointment of the partisan crowd. Malawi will reflect on a chance missed by Esau Kanyenda, who hit the woodwork with a header in the 80th minute of the match.

All in all, it was a game characterised by wasteful passing and poor decision making in the final third of the field.

Malawi hopes to win their next game and set up an enthralling end to the qualifiers, which Ng’onamo is sure will go to the death.

But Nigeria will progress to the next stage of qualification next Wednesday if they beat Namibia and Malawi fail to beat Kenya on June 12 in Blantyre.

Group F’s fixtures were brought forward because of Nigeria’s trip to the Confederations Cup this month. The group also will have another round of games next Wednesday before Nigeria travels to Brazil for the World Cup warm-up tournament, which starts on June 15.

The winners of Africa’s 10 groups in World Cup qualifying will ultimately play off for the five places at the finals next year.

Head boys: Atusaye Nyondo and Namibian players  in the thick of things....Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Head boys: Atusaye Nyondo and Namibian players in the thick of things….Photo Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

Malawi offcials pose for the national anthem before the match.-.Photo Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

Malawi offcials pose for the national anthem before the match.-.Photo Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

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