Malawi rallies to beat Chad in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Malawi national team, the Flames, remained on course for a place in the 2013 finals of Africa Cup of Nations after beating Chad 2-0 at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday.

The Flames had faced a heartbreaking early exit from Africa Cup of Nations when they lost in a topsy-turvy first leg match 2-3. But the win means Malawi have qualified in the next round after a 4-3 goal aggregate.

Malawi lost the opportunity in the first half to open the scores when midfield star Joseph ‘Shakira’ Kamwendo failed to convent a penalty kick.

But up and coming midfielder John Banda who was operating from the left flank scored a classic goal in the 32 minutes to inspire hope.

Malawi led 1-0 at interval.

Come second half, Chad gave early scare to the hosts but Simple Nthara in goals fro Malawi was alert enough.

The Flames faced injury problems in the second half when scorer Banda had a knock and Spain based Robin Ngalande had to be forced out after suffering an injury blow.

Banda was replaced by Peter ‘Ronaldo’ Pindani and Banda’s elder brother Frank came in for Ngalande.

Kamwendo made amends for the penalty miss when he scored with a thunderbolt in the 70th minute.

Malawi looked full of confidence after their breakthrough and there was little to suggest at this stage that Chad were capable of mounting a revival.

Jimmy Zakazaka was substituted in the 86th minutes. He was largely anonymous and Chiukepo Msowoya replaced him.

And the victory brought a mixture of joy and relief to the estimated thousands of fans clad in red replica jerseys  at the stadium and others  watching on MBC  TV in  pubs and homes all over the nation and even those  listening on radio internet streaming through Zodiak Radio.

MALAWI LINE UP:Goalkeeper: Simplex Nthala. Defenders: Moses Chavula, Limbikani Mzava, James Sangala, Foster Namwela. Midfielders: Davie Banda, Joseph Kamwendo, Chimango Kayira, John Banda(Peter Pindani). Strikers:Robin Ngalande (Frank Banda), Jimmy Zakazaka (Chiukepo Msowoya).

Flames squad posing for Nyasa Times. Photo by Jeromy Kadewere
Chiukepo in control of the ball in the dying minutes of the game.Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Flames fans dancing in the Highway on their their way home.Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Why Fischer Kondowe not in the Flames team......supporters carrying a placard in support of Fischer.Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Chad players shaking hands with Malawi team before kick-off . Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Flames fans. Photo posted on Facebook

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