Lesotho National Football Team spoiled Malawi’s 58th Independence Celebrations after a 2-1 victory in a Group at Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.
It was a match that would haunt the Flames having gifted the lower-ranked side with two soft goals emanating from defensive mix-ups. The Flames are ranked 129 on Fifa table while Lesotho are on 146th.
Blue Eagles defender Sankhani Mkandawire, who has been recalled to the Flames, scored an own goal in the 14th minute after a mix-up with youthful Nyasa Big Bullets defender Blessings Mpokera.
Ernest Kakhobwe was given a rare start after he was displaced by Silver Strikers goalkeeper Charles Thom as first choice could have done as he fumbled the ball and Mpokera’s effort to clear it away of danger got deflected into the net by Mkandawire.
The goal also came against the run of play in a match in which the Flames dominated only to be let down by erratic defending.
Lesotho doubled the lead in the 73rd minute as they were pushing to equalise. Seasoned Mighty Mukuru Wanderers defender Stanley Sanudi was guilty of misjudgement and his poor clearance saw their opponents scoring through Katlego Makateng
However, Malawi were a well organised side after youngster Peter Banda substituted Chikoti Chirwa in the 45th minute.
The Simba SC midfielder breathed into the team, as he led the onslaught in a desperate attempt for the Flames to salvage something out of the match. But it never was.
However, Chiukepo Msowoya, who was recalled after a long break, scored the Flames’ consolation goal in the 88th minute with a back-heel from a Banda cutting cross.
Flames coach Mario Marinica blamed the loss on the team’s failure to utilise the many chances that the team created. The notable one being just before half time recess when Chimwemwe Idana, who was the engine room of the Flames, hoofed over the bar with the goalkeeper drawn at his mercy.
Flames need to win their two games against Mauritius who lost 3-0 to e-Swatini in another Group B match.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :