It has been billed as a do-or-die game for Malawi and the stakes are gargantuan for the flames, as the Malawi national football team is fondly called by its adoring fans.
Saturday’s decisive group K game between hosts Chad and Malawi could decide which team between Malawi and Tunisia will go to the 2012 Africa cup of nations finals.
Come in and cheer! You cannot love Malawi more than now.
To the boys, we say, the sweeteners are coming in thick and fast with reports that Malawi lottery has promised a whole one million Malawi kwacha, Xerographics have pledged 500 000MK and many more pledges are coming.
By 8th October, Malawi will portray two faces. The political face characterised by torching of markets, houses and offices of civil society officials and worse still, the murder of a university student, Robert Chasowa, for merely speaking his mind against the Bingu administration.
The face on the opposite side of the coin will reveal smiles of football fans, all wearing red, signifying their love for the flames.
Since independence, 47 years ago, Malawi has qualified for the continental football festival twice.
The first being in 1984, and, again, in 2010, if they do it once more this weekend , it will not only be three times but history as well, as it will be a back to back qualification and this will announce the commencement of Malawi’s dominance in African football.
In September, before the Malawi/Tunisia game the situation was like this according to http://malawi.worldcupblog.org/team-news/malawi-vs-tunisia-winner-qualifies.html
“If the Malawi/Tunisia game will end in a 0-0 or 1-1 draw then Malawi will just need to beat Chad (away) in order to qualify (even if Tunisia beat Togo). If Malawi will lose or draw in Chad then Tunisia will qualify after beating Togo in Tunisia. Home ground advantage?” The stakes were high –
Now, the game ended in a goalless draw in Blantyre. Simply confirming the above statement as prophesised on http://malawi.worldcupblog.org/team-news/malawi-vs-tunisia-winner-qualifies.html.
Under Coach Kinnah Phiri, the Flames have done a splendid job, they qualified for the 2010 finals and a win this weekend will talk more of Kinnah’s contribution to Malawi’s football. In short, the nation can see, “the works of his (Kinnah’s) hands”.
On their way to Chad, the flames had a friendly game with Ethiopia on Tuesday.
“My boys played very well as you know this was just a friendly and I was testing combinations” said Kinnah to Zodiak Broadcasting Corporation (ZBS) reporters. The game ended in a goalless draw.
“We are not scoring yes but we are not scoring against good teams and the good thing is that our defence is not letting in goals” lamented the head coach.
Apart from the injured Russian based, Esau Kanyenda, Kinnah has got a full squad in Chad.
Simplex Nthara is the undisputable first choice in goals, the coming back from injury of Malawi’s skipper, Peter Mponda, has brought smiles not only to the fans but the Sports Minister, Vuwa Kaunda as well. This great player (Mponda) will be partnered in central defence by English premiership material, James Sangala; the line of defence will be completed with Moses Chavula on the left and Elvis Kafoteka on the right.
Our midfield has got a pool of players who if well natured can solve Arsene Wenger’s problems at Emirates. Davie Banda, Tawonga Chimodzi, Joseph Kamwendo, Frank Banda and the list goes on.
The head coach will indeed have to do some consultations with his deputy Young Chimodzi and the Technical director, Jack Chamangwana as to which player to feature in midfiled.
Russle Mwafulirwa, Atusaye Nyondo, Chiukepo Msowoya, Robin Ngalande are all giving Kinnah a headache as who to make the starting line up.
All in all , this is a must win game for Malawi and we, the Timau Crew and Nyasa Times wish our national football team all the best in Chad.
God be with you makosana.
Possible line up
Goalkeeper- Simplex Nthara
Defence: Moses Chavula, Peter Mponda, James Sangala, Elvis Kafoteka
Midfield: Joseph Kamwendo, Davie Banda, Frank Banda, Peter Wadabwa (Tawonga Chimodzi)
Strikers: Russell Mwafuliwrwa, Atusaye Nyondo (Robin Ngalande)