Malawi’s Flames on Sunday, July 06, 2014 threw away a first half lead to draw 1-all against visiting Mozambique’s Mambas during an international friendly match marking Malawi’s 50 years of Independence played at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Playing before the huge crowd that turned up for the main Golden Jubilee celebrations including Head of State President Arthur Peter Mutharika, the Flames took the lead barely six minutes into the game when Mozambican based professional Chiukepo Msowoya rose high to plant home a well taken free kick by John Banda.
The Flames had several good chances to increase the lead but they were all blown away with Msowoya himself the main culprit.
They were duly punished for their wastefulness in the 64th minute when substitute Manuel Fernandes levelled for the visitors after connecting a cross from Mario Sinamunda.
Flames’ coach Young Chimodzi lamented the missed opportunities but still praised his charges for showing good character.
“We messed up a number of good chances and when you do that you get punished. However, I am happy with the overall performance of the boys. Save for Chiukepo and Chimango Kayira, the rest of the players we used were locally based and I am impressed with the way most of them have performed,” said Chimodzi.
Despite being part of the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, the game exposed some of the country’s short-falls within the 50 years of independence as it was played for only 80 minutes (40 minutes each halve) due to impending darkness.
The game started as late as 16.00hrs and Civo Stadium floodlights which stopped functioning some years ago could not provide the needed light.
All traditional dances and displays which were on the programme also had to be canceled to pave way for the match.
Flames first eleven: McDonald Harawa (GK), Lucky Malata (Captain), Pilirani Makupe, John Lanjesi, Francis Mlimbika, Frank Banda (Ndaziona Chatsalira) Chimango Kaira, John Banda, Phillip Masiye (Young Chimodzi Junior), Gastin Simkonda (Kelvin Hanganda), Chiukepo Msowoya.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :