Malawi national team, the Flames, on Friday lost to South Sudan 2-0 in their last Group C match of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
The Flames qualified for the quarter-finals with a game to spare, when they beat Djibouti 3-0 on Wednesday.
The Ernest Mtawali side has now finished the group second in Group C.
Mtawali made several changes in Friday’s encounter bringing in the likes of Richard Chipuwa in goals, Sankhani Mkandawire, Yamikani Chester, Nelson Kangunje and Chawanangwa Kawonga.
South Sudan scored the first goal 5th minute into the kick-off before nailing the last nail on the Flames coffin in the dying minutes of the match.
Despite Mtawali introducing fresh legs after recess time by bringing in Chiukepo Msowoya, Gerald Phiri Junior and John Banda in for Chawanangwa Kaonga, Yamikani Chester and Chimango Kaira things did not change on the scoreboard.
South Sudan’s defensive tactics paid dividends as they smiled to finish the group on top with 7 points with Malawi having six points and a point for Sudan and pointless Djibouti.
Speaking in an interview from Bahir Dar, Mtawali said he is focusing now on quarter-finals.