Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet will kick off his reign as Malawi boss against Zimbabwe in a quarterfinal fixture of Cosafa Cup on Saturday and was left with mixed emotions after seeing his side lose in post-match penalties.
Malawi trailed Zimbabwe 0-1 in the first half. But despite playing one player less after defender James Sangala was sent off on the stroke of half time for a second caution. Saintfiet second half tactics led his charges to launch an outstanding comeback to force the game into penalties.
But Malawi players were awful in the spot kicks.
“Here is a coach who is very disappointed with the result but very proud of his team,” said Saintfiet after the game, his first in charge of the Malawi side.
“We played well in the second half. I am not happy that such a nice game could be decided on penalties,” he said.
Saintfiet criticized Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe for sending Sangala for an early shower for a second bookable offence.
“I was surprised with that red card on Sangala. It was too harsh,” Saintfeit said.
He also noted that Malawi players need to be drilled on penalty taking.
Malawi scored only one penalty through veteran Chiukepo Msowoya while Bongani Kaipa and Gastin Simkonda sent theirs skyways while Zimbabwe goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedingu saved John Lanjesi’s shot.
Zimbabwe scored all but one of their four kicks to book their place in the last four of the competition.
“If you miss three of the four penalties we took, that is unacceptable,” noted the Malawi coach.
Meanwhile, Malawi loss has been rewarded with a shot at winning the play-off where they await the loser of Sunday’s quarterfinal match between Lesotho and Angola whom they will face in a last-chance saloon to book a semi-finals place on July 16.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :