Malawi coach Young Chimodzi has described the Cosafa Cup as a good learning experience for his team in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
Chimodzi brought a youthful Malawi side with a sprinkling of experience into the tournament and they ended up winning the plate final on Friday with a 1-0 victory over Zambia.
It was the second giant scalp they claimed in the tournament having beaten Bafana Bafana in the plate semifinal. They could have been contesting for the cup instead of the plate had they not conceded two own goals against Mozambique, with the second goal coming in optional time in a match where they were leading 2-1, but ultimately lost on penalties.
“This tournament has given us a good platform to prepare for the Afcon,” Chmodzi said.
“We are going to have a good team, looking at the way we performed here. There is a lot we have learned here, especially keeping concentration for the entire 90 minutes because you can tell the players that all you want. But if it happens to them, that is something that will stay with them for a long time.”
Even though there are some positives for Chimodzi to take forward, there is also the stress of the club-less Limbikani Mzava and Robert Ng’ambi who is nursing an injury.
“We are mindful about that,” Chimodzi said.
“We know that we needed to have a full strength squad here but if something happened to one of them, we needed to have backup. About Mzava, I think it will be sorted out. About Ng’ambi’s injury, we’ve got the youngsters who have helped us in this tournament.”
Chimodzi has to overcome Guinea, Zimbabwe and Swaziland in the Afcon qualifiers that start next month. The Flames can only guarantee a place at the Afcon finals for the third time in their history if they finish top of Group L.–The Citizen SAFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :