Malawi National Football Team’s dream start to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign got a reality check following a painful 1- 0 defeat to Guinea.
Supporter have turned on Coach Mario Marinica for destroying Flames great football which is consistently under-performing with ball possession averaging 25% relying mostly luck than tactics.
Flames succumbed to an injury time goal to Guinea, who lost their opening match to Egypt in similar fashion and desperately needed the victory to put back on track their Afcon dream in Group D.
Liverpool star Naby Keita scored the goal.
The Elephants started the game on a high note giving the Flames tonight time in the first 10 minutes.
However, the Flames reorganised themselves to contain the pressure although they were forced to retreat throughout.
This sums up the fact that they failed to take a shot on target in their five goal attempts.
South Africa-based striker Gabadinho Mhango was also a peripheral figure and hardly threatened the Elephants in the final third.
However, the Flames kept the hosts at bay.
In the second half, Malawi approached the match with other ideas and produced a better performance as compared to the first half.
In the first half, Flames coach Marinica was forced to substitute Sudan-based Gerard Phiri Jnr for Charles Petro in the 33rd minute following as injury.
He also substituted Stanley Sanudi for Alick Lungu and Khuda Muyaba for Micium Mhone in the 47th minute.
In the 76th minute, Chimwemwe Idana and Stain Dave paved the way for Yamikani Chester
and Chikoti Chirwa respectively.
In another, Marinica said his charges did not approach the match as planned.
“We did not play as expected. We had a couple of chances, but we did not take our chances. Sometimes when you are playing big teams players lose concentration and start panicking instead of pushing they dropped instead and you get punished.
“We still have our chances.”
In another group D match, Ethiopia recovered from the 2-1 loss to Malawi on Sunday to pull a shocking 2-0 win over Egypt at Bingu National Stadium in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe because CAF banned their national stadium.
All the teams have three points, but Ethiopia are now leading the group, Malawi are second, Guinea third and Egypt anchor the group due to goal aggregate differences between them.