Malawi’s Flames face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana this Wednesday in plate section of the Cosafa Cup in South Africa but back home questions are being asked on why the Flames senior players shunned penalty shootout in the quarterfinal loss to Mozambique at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Monday night..
The Flames bowed out of the Cosafa Cup championship race after losing 5-4 in post match penalties after two-all draw in normal play.
The clash between Mozambique and Malawi had everything, including two own goals scored by the Flames!
Captain Lucky Malata put through his own net on 10 minutes to give Mozambique the lead, but Malawi had seemingly turned the game on its head when Muhammad Sulumba equalised with a superb header from a corner, and then Limbikani Mzava lashed home a penalty after a foul on John Banda.
That was in the final minute of the game, but there was still more drama when Mzava put the ball into his own net in injury-time and Mozambique forced the game to penalties.
The penalty shootout went to sudden death, where Sulumba missed the decisive kick to see Mozambique through to the last four, where they join Namibia, Botswana and Madagascar.
However, to the disappointed of thousands of Malawians, who watched the match on television came in the injury time when Mzava scored in his own net.
But the manner in which the team lost has raised eyebrows after the Flames converted four penalty and missed the other three. More questions are now being asked why the technical panel led by Young Chimodzi picked in experienced players to take the spot kicks on the expense of vastly experienced players.
For instance, three players, who were making their debut for the Flames Yamikani Fodya, Muhammad Sulumba and Tizgowere Kumwenda missed their penalties.
Vastly experienced players like Fischer Kondowe, Limbikani Mzava, Lucky Malata and Frank Banda converted their penalties.
Back to the field of play, many people questioned substitutions made by Chimodzi. For instance, he substituted two players Gerald Phiri and Robin Ngalande who were causing havoc to the Mozambican.
Chimodzi also left Sulumba for the entire 90 minutes when he looked tired leaving Mozambican based Zicco Mkanda to warmed the bench.
Big Bullets left back Yamikani Fodya, who had a grant game in the first 45 minutes also run out of energy in the second half and instead of introducing the fresh legs of Francis Mlimbika, Chimodzi remained cool and calm.
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