Malawi national football team have themselves under enormous pressure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations after losing to Algeria 2-0 at home, Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday October 11.
Victory before a capacity 30,000 crowd at Kamuzu Stadium lifted Group B leaders Algeria to nine points from three matches after defeating Ethiopia and Mali last month.
Another win over Malawi in Blida Wednesday would guarantee the 1990 African champions a top-two finish and a place among the 16 finalists.
The Flames started giving false hopes that they would tame Africa’s highly ranked team in the first eight minutes.
But the ghosts came back to haunt after conceding in the 10th minute through Qatar SC central defender Rafick Halliche who powered home from a corner kick.
In the 30th minute Robin Ngalande connecting a good cross from Atusaye Nyondo but the goalkeeper Adrien Adi Rais Mbolhi denied the Flames an equaliser with a brilliant close ranger save.
Two minutes late Ngalande missed another opportunity attracting a cacophony of boos from disappointed fans.
Chiukepo Msowoya, who was handed a rare start for the Flames after being recalled to the national, also had his fair share of misses.
Msowoya failed twice to inside the 18-yard box towards the end of the first half.
Malawi attacked for much of the second half and came closest to equalising when captain and midfielder Joseph Kamwendo struck a post.
Flames coach Young Chimodzi substituted Atusaye Nyondo for Frank Banda then Chiukepo for Gastin Simkonda.
Out of form South Africa based professional Gabadinho Mhango substituted for fellow PSL professional Ngalande.
But Malawi failed to make the most of the chances as they let Algeria’s pedigree outshine them with a second late goal scored by substitute defender Eddine Djamel Mesbah who plays for Italian Seria A team Sampdoria.
In another Group B game Mali, who beat Malawi 2-0 in, cemented its second position after beating Ethiopia by the same margin to collect six points from three games.
MacDonald Harawa, Bashir Maunde, Francis Mlimbika, Limbikani Mzava, Harry Nyirenda, Chimango Kayira, Robert Ng’ambi, Joseph Kamwendo, Robin Ngalande (Gabadinho Mhango) Atusaye Nyondo, (Gastin Simkonda), Chiukepo Msowoya (Frank Banda).
Adrian Rais Mbolhi, Guiseppe Medin Lacen, Ghoulam Faouzi, Aissa Mandi, Rafik Halliche, Riyad Mahrez, Cherif Ishak Belfodil, Sofiane Feghouli, Eddine Nasr Yacine Brahim, Carl Medjani, Nabil Bentaleb.