Malawi national footbaLl team , the Flames, have rekindled their hopes to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations final showdown, which will be played in Equatorial Guinea, after beating Mali with a convincing 2-0 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday.
Recalled veteran striker Esau Kanyenda and midfielder Robert Ng’ambi netted in the 65th and 85th minutes as Malawi moved to third in the group after tying on six points with Mali.
Kanyenda lived to his experience billing throughout the game, creating chances for fellow players and scoring he second goal. .
He headed into the net a well executed cross from another veteran player Fisher Kondowe about 10 minutes before the end of the last whistle sending the entire Kamuzu Stadium into wild scence of celebrations.
Flames coach Young Chimodzi made two changes to the team that lost in Algeria last month.
Polokwane City striker Kanyenda and Kondowe inspired their colleagues with experience as they put up a gallant fight.
Gabadihno Mhango, who struggled to regain his old form was also in the starting line-up, while Robert Ngambi partnered Chimango Kayira on the midfield.
The Flames had the brighter start, opening up a number of chances, which culminated in a double chance inside the opening eight minutes.
They continued to press and had Mali under pressure throughout the opening quarter, Oumar Sissoko regularly called into action.
Mali, who started with captain Seydou Keita on the bench after he picked up a knock in the build up to the game, opted for patience and defensive organisation with striker Cheikh Diabate isolated and closed down by Malawi defence.
The visitors were blunt in all the department especially upfront where Sambou Yatabare and Abdoulaye Diaby operated failed to make any inroads as the Flames continued to advance on the front foot.
Kanyenda broke through the middle before combining with a host of Malian, laying off to Ng’ambi in the area. He was unable to get his shot away and was blocked at the last minute.
At the other end, Mac Donald Harawa was kept busy by the Mali attackers, but none were able to test the goalie, who made light work of the tame efforts coming his way.
Flames slowly found their feet and began to build some ascendancy, Kamwendo and Chimango Kayira dictating play in the middle of the park.
Kanyenda was quick thank the coaching panel for giving him the chance to play for the National Team despite critics who said that he is a spent force.
“I thank the Coaching panel for the call up to national duty and I think I have showed that experience matters in a game of football. I am happy that we have won,” said Kanyenda.
With the victory, Malawi has now moved to 6 points. What it means is that the battle for second place is between Malawi and Mali. They both have 6 points and are remaining with a game in hand which will be played next week Wednesday.
Malawi will take on Ethiopia in Addis Abba while Mali will take on Algeria.
If Malawi will beat Ethiopia and Mali losses to Algeria, it means Malawi will qualify for Equatorial Guinea. If Malawi will force a draw and Mali losses to Algeria, still Malawi will qualify. Malawi’s qualification to Equatorial Guinea is also dependent on Algeria to help them in some sort.
Malawi squad: McDonald Harawa, Harry Nyirenda, Francis Mulimbika, John Lanjesi, Limbikani Mzava, Joseph Kamwendo, Chimango Kayira, Fischer Kondowe, Robert Ng’ambi, Frank Gabadinho Mhango (Gastin Simukonda), Esau Kanyenda (Frank Banda).
Mali squad: Oumar Sissoko, Fousseyni Diawara, Adama Tamboura, Idrissa Coulibaly, Ahmed Tongo Doumbia (Seydou Keita), Yacouba Sylla, Cheik Tidiane Diabate, Bakary Sako, Ousmane Coulibaly (Sigamary Diarra), Sambou Yatabare, Abdoulaye Diaby.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :