Malawi went down fighting 1-2 to Egypt’s national team 1 in a friendly match on Monday amid their preparation for the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Flames will officially kick off their bid to reach the Gabon finals on 14 June against Zimbabwe’s Warriors while the Pharaohs of Egypt with face Tanzania.
Ahram reports that a first-half goal by midfielder Ahmed Hassan Mekky gave the Egyptians an early lead, before striker Mohamed El-Gabbas increased the lead directly after the second half start.
Malawi fought fiercely to restore the balance, but they only managed to hit the net once on the hour mark.
Missing both Ahly and Zamalek players who had continental commitments with their clubs on Sunday, Egypt’s Argentian coach Hector Cuper relied on a second string team against Malawi.
In the 19th minute, a blunder from Malawi defender put the ball in the path of Haras El-Hodoud midfielder Ahmed Hassan Mekky who tapped home from close range to give the hosts an early lead.
Three minutes after the break, Wadi Degla striker Mohamed El-Gabbas cleverly snatched the ball from the opponents’ defenders to add the second goal with a powerful shot from inside the area.
Midfielder John Banda scored Malawi’s only goal on minute 63, as he quickly skipped past Egypt defenders to score from a close range.
Malawi is in Group L comprised of Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Guinea. The Flames host the Warriors of Zimbabwe this Saturday, in the opener for the qualifiers, whereas Egypt are in Group G comprising teams such as Tanzania and Nigeria, among others.