The Malawi U-17 national football team started the 2020 COSAFA Championship on a low note as they gave away their 2-1 lead in the dying minutes to share the spoils with host South Africa.
Malawi drew the first blood early in the first half through Samson Zakeyu, who got on the end of a Mcdonald Chiwanda long-ball.
Stevie Banda scored the second for the Junior Flames, capitalizing on an error by South Africa’s goalkeeper Enrique Erasmus.
In the 67th minute, Mduduzi Shabalala pulled one back to bring back before Thabang Mahlangu’s leveler scored in the dying minutes of the game diminished the seemingly blazing flames.
The boys played well save for the two mistakes that allowed the visitors to equalize, Coach Dekrerk Msakakuona said in a post-match interview.
He said: “We have to accept these young and inexperienced boys at a big tournament like this one. We now have two crucial games against Angola and Zambia.
“Now our target is to get at least four or more points from these last two games in order for us to get to the final.”
In another match, Zambia put in a spirited show to beat Angola at the Gelvandale Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday.
It took 51 minutes of play before Zambia who enjoyed attacking football throughout the match got the opener when Charles Mumba connected home a well-executed cross; beating Angolan shot stopper Karigo Kaslam.
12 minutes later, the Chipolopolo boys added the second through a 63rd minute penalty which Rickson Ng’ambi coolly converted.
Angola pulled one back in the third minute of added time though not enough to savage them a vital point.
Malawi will be hoping to upset leaders Zambia when the two sides meet on Tuesday afternoon before South Africa face Angola in what is a must-win fixture for the Angola as another defeat will throw them out of contention for a final.
The top two teams advance to next Sunday’s final, while the sides that finish third and fourth in the pool will have a play-off for the bronze medal.
Angola 1 (Lopes 90′) Zambia 2 (Mumba 51’, Ng’ambi 65’pen)
South Africa 2 (Shabalala 46’, Mahlangu 88’) Malawi 2 (Zakeyu 37′, Banda 67’)
12h30 (10h30 GMT) – South Africa vs Angola
15h30 (13h30 GMT) – Zambia vs MalawiFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :