Malawi set to book Nations Cup finals slot

Despite the hostile reception that has been given to the Malawi national soccer team in Chad, coach Kinnah Phiri and captain Peter Mponda are optimistic of victory on Saturday in their swim or sink Africa Cup of Nations last qualifier game in N’djamena.

Speaking to Nyasa Times in a telephone interview from Chad, Kinnah says his charges are determined to make Chad pay dearly for ill treating the Flames.

“We know that they are playing mind games to distract our attention but I have told my boys to forget all this and concentrate on the game,” Kinnah said.

When the team arrived, there was no official from the Chad federation to welcome the team and were given a substandard hotel sandwiched by swamps of water.

Flames: Set to win

After heated arguments between the Malawi delegation and Chad officials, the Flames booked at Kempinski hotel but Chad football association says it will not shoulder the expenses arguing it cannot afford.

Malawi has since lodged a complaint to the match commissioner on the ill treatment.

But captain Mponda told reporters that the players realise the importance of this game and have refused to be disturbed by Chad’s tricks.

“All we need is to focus and concentrate on the game. We are matured enough to start paying attention to their mind games,” Mponda said.

The captain added that his troops are looking forward to the Saturday game with confidence to qualify for the finals next year.

Apart from the ill treatment, the players will also have to fight Chad’s hot weather conditions. According to reports from M’djamena, the temperatures are between 36 to 38 degrees Celsius.

Malawi will be fighting with Tunisia for a second spot qualification in Group K. A win will be enough to take the Flames to the finals or a draw If Tunisia fails to beat Togo.

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