Malawi caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo, who is set to deputise Belgian Tom Saintfiet at the Cosafa tournament in Zambia hopes the return of Big Bullets’ marksman Gabadinho Mhango will help end the scoring problems which dodged the Flames during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Mozambique’s Black Mambas.
The Flames failed to hit the visitors’ net in front of a partisan home crowds, including State President Joyce Banda as the nation celebrated 49 years of independence at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
Looking at the way the Malawi team performed, it was clear the side lacked firepower upfront, where strikers even failed to take shots at the Mozambican goal.
Speaking after the final whistle, Ng’onamo admitted the team lacked the killer instinct but expressed hope that the return of Gabadinho from South Africa, where he successfully underwent trials at Amazulu FC.
Initially, there were reports that Gabadinho would skip the Cosafa tournament to concentrate on his trials but having impressed the South African side before the elapse of the trials, the boy has been given the nod to join the Flames.
“I’m happy that we will have the player in Zambia. This gives us good options upfront as we meet Zimbabwe in the quarterfinals,” said Ng’onamo.
Asked if the coaches would have enough time to assess the striker, Ng’onamo said: “We are leaving for Zambia on Wednesday and will train for about three days before facing Zimbabwe. After all, the player is coming from trials with a professional side and his fitness level cannot be questioned,” he said.
The Flames have never won the Cosafa Cup and their best record was about a decade ago, when they lost the final at the hands of the Zimbabwe Warriors.