Timau: The Flames and last minute goals

The good news is that an experimental Ebola vaccine similar to one being developed by GlaxoSmithkline is effective for at least five weeks in lab monkeys but requires boosting with an additional vaccine to extend its protection to 10 months according to a study published recently, reports UK.Finance .yahoo.com.

The bad news is that no cure has been found to help the Malawi national football team, the Flames, from conceding last minute goals.

The Flames --Photo by Jeromy Kadewere
The Flames –Photo by Jeromy Kadewere

Last minute goals are very painful for these are the goals scored either in the final or penultimate minute of the regulation time or during the brief time added by the referee at the end of regulation time at the conclusion of a match known as stoppage time or injury time.

The Flames have paid dearly because of last minute goals. First it was in Mozambique where Malawi just needed a draw to qualify for the finals of Africa Cup of Nations and Mozambique scored in injury time.

Then, it was in Chad where Malawi needed a win to qualify for the AFCON finals, Malawi was leading and Chad equalised in stoppage time to foil Malawi’s chances of qualifying. In Mali on 6 September, Malawi lost 2-0 with a goal scored in injury time and on Wednesday, 10th September, Malawi were comfortably leading 3-1 against Ethiopia only to concede a last minute goal to end the game 3-2.

“In modern football, the best way to defend is to attack”, says London based former Whitex striker, Nyle Harawa.

Harawa claims that sometimes this is all about substitutions, coaches pull out a striker and bring in a defender hence this stops the team from attacking.

Soccer pundits argue that defensively it is always ideal to have 1 extra man at the back than the opponents have attackers. This helps to deal with attacking threats in general especially lose balls, more than that becomes overkill and you pay in other areas of the pitch.

What really is the problem with Malawi national football team? During the Ethiopia game Malawi conceded a last minute goal, “When we scored the first goal, we got excited, we were relaxed, we felt as if it was over and done and as a result we conceded a silly goal”, The Nation newspaper quotes Young Chimodzi, the Flames coach.

Should we sum it up as complacency? Maybe not, Chimodzi has got a lot of work to do. First, he has to work with the mentality of the boys and then as Nyle Harawa said, the best way to defend is to attack, and Young has to come up with an attacking mentality in the boys.

The coach knows that all is not well, “we won yes, which is a relief considering that we lost the first game but we could have done better…..” concludes Chimodzi.

What next? Malawi is fighting for 9 points at home and 6 points away having lost the first 3 points away to Mali. Mission done, first 3 points at home collected and now it is Algeria and Mali’s turn at home and then, Ethiopia and Algeria away. Chances of qualifying will upsurge only if Malawi can accumulate the maximum 9 points at home.

The Flames should avoid conceding in stoppage time

As the Ebola vaccine is showing positive results to lab monkeys, the Aids vaccine is taking toolong to come just like the cure for Malawi’s last minute goal debacle.

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