As the Malawi Under 20 national football team hosts South Africa at the Bingu National Stadium this Saturday, Coaches Meke Mwase and Lovemore Fazili say the lads have all it takes to kill Goliath from the rainbow nation following a goalless draw in the first leg last weekend.
The two coaches were speaking on Zodiak Television on Wednesday night in a programme called Game Plan hosted by Mike Bango and monitored by Nyasa Times.
“This is a very important game in the history of Malawi football. When we beat South Africa this Saturday, we will qualify for the Afcon finals in Niger next year. As far as I can remember, such a situation occurred in Mozambique when I and Fazili were players. We were leading by a goal scored by Jones Nkhwazi but we ended up losing the game. Another was in Burkina Faso but this is the first of its kind on the home soil,” explained Mwase.
“The lads were not happy with the draw in South Africa. They are very angry and they want to finish the job this Saturday. They played very well in the first leg. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get a goal and I should point out that the South African goal keeper saved his team but I am sure we will get goals this Saturday,” chipped in Fazili.
The two coaches lamented poor support from journalists and football organisers.
Fazili noted that it was unfortunate that only two sports reporters welcomed the team at the airport from South Africa and yet over ten sports journalists were at the airport welcoming Malawians who went to watch the World Cup in Russia.
The coaches also expressed disappointment on the decision by SULOM to stage a TNM Super League fixture between Silver Strikers, where Fazili is head coach, and Nyasa Big Bullets a kilometre or two away from Bingu National Stadium on the same day when the junior flames will be hosting South Africa Under 20.
They asked those who will have time to come in large numbers to cheer the lads putting national football first, and club football second.
Herrings Mwakasungula, who was among the players that painfully failed to qualify for Afcon finals in the last game in Burkina Faso, said the junior Flames have come a long way and they need much support by the whole nation this Saturday.
He urged the technical panel to instill fighting spirit in the lads so as to win the game and qualify for the 2019 Under 20 Afcon finals which will be hosted by Niger.