Malawi caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo has said the Flames were not ready to surrender, warning that they will try every tactic in the book to seal qualification for the next round of the 2014 World Cup in September away to Nigeria.
The Flames had their World Cup hopes up in the smoke when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Kenya on Wednesday but had to thank Namibia who stopped Nigeria from booking their passage to the final round of the qualifiers for Brazil 2014 with a draw.
Nigeria are top of Group F with nine points, two more than Malawi’s Flames, whom they confront in Nigeria in the first week of September.
Malawi needs nothing short of a win while Nigeria need only a draw from that match to reach the 10-nation final elimination round of the African series for 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Ng’onamo told Nyasa Times that Malawi’s qualification is possible, saying a win can be done.
“We will try everything to throw Nigeria off balance and we will deploy all methods to achieve our ambitions,” he said.
Former Malawi skipper Peter Mponda believes the Flames can pull a surprise win over Nigeria.
He said it was possible to beat Nigeria at their backyard depending on the preparations and tactical approach towards the game.
“It all starts with the administrators; they have to show commitment because as you saw recently the issue of allowances you can’t point fingers at the players because they need to be paid in time so that they are motivated.
“The other thing is that they need to train hard and not lose hope but keep their focus before and during the game. Anything can happen, who knew Nigeria were going to be held by Namibia. That should be a motivation,” said Mponda.
But Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi who calls himself “an optimistic person” is positive that his charges get the qualification by beating Malawi.
“I have no doubt that we will qualify for the FIFA World Cup,” said Keshi, Nigeria’s 1994 African Cup-winning captain and now African Cup-winning coach after the triumph in South Africa in February.
Before facing Nigeria, Malawi will take part in the Cosafa Cup tourney in Zambia on 13th July.—(Additional reporting by Alex Chitwere, Mana)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :