Malawi national football team, the Flames made an impressive start in their quest for their fifth council of East and Central Africa Senior Challenge (Cecafa)Tusker title on Monday when they beat Kenya’s Harambee Stars 2-0 Dar-es-Salaam and lead their Group C.
But Blue Eagles dangerous raider John Banda was a hero of the day for the Flames when he struck a first goal through a cracking shot sending Kenya’s goalkeeper on the wrong side.
The Flames, who struggled to play free flowing football in the first 18 minutes of the game picked up their pace in the 24th minutes.
The magical pace of Banda kept Harambee Stars defenders on the tight rope.
The Flames increased the tempo of the game in the second half that Harambee stars goaltender fouled Flames striker Loti Chawinga in the 18 yard box resulting into a penalty.
Former Orlando Pirates left winger Joseph ‘Shakira’ Kamwendo converted Flames second goal on a spot kick when he emphatically sent the goalie the wrong way to dispatch theball high to the left.
Flames coach Kinnah Phiri made some changes in the second half by bringing in Moyale Barracks striker Gastin Simkonda for Chawinga and John Banda for Escom United expensive player Ndaziona Chatsalira.
Towards the end of the game, the Flames displayed fantastic football especially through Mighty Wanderers midfielder Nafe Msasa, Angolan based talisman James Sangala, Civo United powerful defender Emmanuel Zoya and Silver Strikers left winger Frank Banda.
Kinna described their victory as a stepping stone to their quest in winning the rest of the matches in their group.
“I must also commend my boys for the job well done because we only trained for seven days but they displayed fantastic football,” said the Malawi coach.
However, his counterpart for Kenya Francis Kumanzi conceded the defeat to silly mistakes from his side.
“We made some mistakes and got punished. However, we are looking forward to our next game,” he said.
The Flames are leading their group with three points seconded by Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.
In another encounter in their group, Ethiopia and Sudan drew 1-1.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :