Malawi national football team stunned Mauritius by a goal to nil at the Independence stadium in the ongoing COSAFA tournament in Namibia scored by defender Miracle Gabeya on Tuesday night, his first ever goal at international level and on his 24th birthday.
Flames Coach Ernest Mtawali named an unchanged first eleven against a Mauritius side that was comfortably thrashed 3-0 by high flying Lesotho in their opening match.
However, it was Mauritius who began the game on a high as they showed signs of improvements from their previous game.
Midway the first half, Flames hero in their opening game Frank Gabadhingho Mhango could have opened the scoring but his header was deflected off the target by a Mauritius defender.
A few minutes later, Mhango got a booking after stumping on a Mauritius player, forcing a section of Mauritius players surrounding the Golden Arrows striker.
The situation could have turned worse had it not been for the referee who rushed to the scene on time.
Soon after the recess, Malawi were in front, thanks to the birthday boy Gabeya who headed in a Gerald ‘Papa’ Phiri well taken corner.
The goal brought relief and smiles to Flames players and technical panel knowing a quarterfinal berth is on the offing if they win their final group B game on Thursday against Lesotho who earlier beat Angola 2-0.
Mauritius on the other end tried to push for an equalizer during the last quarter of the match but their efforts could not produce the goals needed.
The result means Malawi are level on points with group B leaders Lesotho but fail shot on goal aggregate. Mauritius and Angola are the two teams waiting to play for formality in the last round of games for the group on Thursday when the Flames will be lining up against Lesotho.
Flames won convincingly 3-0 in their opening match against Angola while Lesotho also beat Mauritius by the same goal margin.
In an early kick off on Tuesday, Lesotho beat youthful Angola 2-0 to maintain the top spot in Group B.
The battle of qualification in group B now involve Flames and Lesotho and the winner between the two sides in the final match on Thursday will quaify to the next stage.
Flames are hoping to do better at this years Cosafa competition and bring home the trophy after only winning the plate section last year.
They are amongst the few selected countries that have travelled to the Cosafa with the full squad as some including Angola have sent junior squads.
The host Namibia are the defending champions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :