Malawi national football team, the Flames, lost the first leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier to Ghana 2-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.
In the match monitored by Nyasa Times through live streaming on GhanaTV, the Flames started with an uninspired, lack lustred performance that allowed the hosts to score early barely 8 minutes into the game.
Christian Atsu converted the goal after assists by Asamoah Gyan who beat Simplex Nthara in Malawi goals to set up Dede Ayew. The shot by Ayew fell to Atsu who was hovering in the scoring area.
The Flames settled down quickly and at times dominated the affairs but lacked the impetus to attack with goal machine Gabadini Mhango consigned on the bench.
At interval, Malawi was down0-1.
But the Flames conceded early again after resumption.
Anthony Annan scored the second goal in the 51st minute out of nothing.
The Flames could not inspire hope of scoring an away vital goal as they played a much more direct style of football.
Defender James Sangala was given matching orders towards the end of the game for a second bookable offence.
Tactics, ‘mission possible’
Malawi could have scored in this game to ensure an easy home-leg fixture but some of the tactics of Coach Kinnah Phiri were questionable. The sloppy, undisciplined defending – left them with a two goal deficit in a game which they should have done better.
Having left experienced midfielder Robert ‘Baggio’ Ng’ambi and goal mascot Gabadini on the bench, Kinnah seemed to have approached this game like it was an easy Super League match rather than a must win, Africa Cup of Nations qualifier encounter.
Malawi now face a tough task of turning around a two goal deficit in the return leg to ensure qualifications.
Kinnah however believes the Accra debacle is only half story told and that the return leg in Malawi with be the Holy Grail.
“The story is not finished they are still coming and we know how we play at home,” Kinnah said in post-match interview with Ghana TV.
He conceded that the Flames had a porous defence.
“Otherwise we controlled the game better than Black Stars (Ghana),” he said.
In Malawi, Kinnah said, “we will be more offensive and we will make sure will make use of the chances.”
Flames line up: Goalkeeper- Simplex Nthala, Defenders- Moses Chavula, Limbikani Mzava, James Sangala, Harry Nyirenda, Midfielders- Davie Banda, Joseph Kamwendo, Peter Wadabwa (Robin Ngalande), Frank Banda (Gabadinho Mhango) and Chimango Kayira, Striker- Atusaye Nyondo (Pilirani Makupe)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :