Malawi junior national team have started their hosting of the 2019 Cosafa U-17 Youth Championship Group B campaign with a thriller after a convincing 3-0 thumping over South Africa on Saturday at Mpira Stadium in Blantyre.
The Deklerk Msakakuona charges who started the match coming wave after wave from the first whistle and dominated the ball possession as they were all over the pitch with a brilliant play opened their scoring in the first half after launching a counter attack from the right side where Noel Sakala started it all before providing a wide pass to Chikumbutso Salimawho later cut the ball into the box which found Mike Thomu who
finished it into the net through his dangerous right foot.
Junior Flames continued displaying good football which attracted thousands of fans who filled the Mpira Stadium full to its capacity and cheered the lads throughout the entire 90 minutes.
Led by captain Clifford Chimlambe who controlled the defence, Malawi was a marvel to watch and did not allow any space to the South African’s who only got three clear chances in the first half but failed to convert them into goals.
Sakala, who was in his top form, entertained the fans with his brilliant touches and dribbles and no wonder the lad made an individual effort in the second half where made serious runs from the right side of the pitch before making a banana cross into the box and his ball found Dave Tobias’ head who made no mistake but heading it into the net to
make it 2 nil.
South Africa continued struggling to control Malawi despite making a quick double substitution later in the second half as they did not created any opportunity.
Malawi made two substitutions by taking out Sakala and Harrison Kakapata who were replaced by Julio Chagunda and Chifundo Mbofana respectively.
The substitution caused a lot of problem to South Africa as the two junior players increased the fire power from the midfield up to the front and no wonder South Africa struggled to clear a number balls out of their box due to pressure.
Malawi defender Andrew Lameck became the first player in the tournament to receive a red card after commiting a foul to South Africa’s striker Neo Dikgale when he was trying to clear the ball in a one on one situation.
As many people were thinking that the match will end 2 nil after the fourth official added extra 5 minutes, it wasn’t the case as the hungry Malawi Junior players added the third goal in the dying minutes.
Malawi’s youthful upcoming lethal striker Dave Tobias was voted man of the match after an impressive performance.
Speaking after the match coach Msakakuona praised his boys for putting up match effort to register their first win in the opening match which he said was very vital.
He further described the match as very tough and difficult as they were meeting a side which has been their rivals for a long time in different competitions.
“As you know that we are playing at home so the pressure is on us to produce positive results and every team which we might be facing it is very likely they will be coming to us with a serious approach but still we’ll also try our level best to do better in this tournament.
“Although we’ve won today but still we have encountered some weak areas which we need to go back and rectify them such missing of good clear opportunities among our strikers,” said Msakakuona.
His counterpart Vela Khumalo described the loss as a bad start of the competition which said happened due to lack of concentration among his young boys.
Khumalo also added that most of his boys were playing their first international matches and they have never played in front of a huge crowd like it was at Mpira Stadium where there were a lot of spectators whom he also said that their noise made the technical panel
to face challenges when communicating to their players on field of play.
“Our boys a very young and majority of them are under 15 years that’s why they struggled to play and got tired so early. Adding to that some of them experienced a fatigue because they overstayed at the boarder due to problems of traveling documents,” said Khumalo.
But he further expressed optimistic that the team will do better in their next fixture where they will be taking on Eswatini on Monday.
Malawi’s next fixture is against Zambia on the same date and all the matches will be played at Mpira stadium.
In other Group B match played on Saturday Zambia demolished Eswatini 6 nil to lead the group with an advantage of goal aggregate while Malawi is coming on second position.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :