Malawi’s representatives in continental competitions, Be Forward Wanderers and Masters Security FC, finally flew out to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola yesterday, ahead of their Confederation of African Football (CAF) assignments this weekend.
Masters and Wanderers date Atletico Petroleos de Luanda and AS Vita on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in first legs of the preliminary round.
Having failed to leave for Luanda on Wednesday due to visa complications, Masters left in two batches— the first delegation flew out at 11am from Kamuzu International Airport, aboard Ethiopian Airlines, via Harare, Zimbabwe then Addis Ababa, Eithopia.
A second group was expected to join Masters in Addis Ababa last night, having flown from Kamuzu International Airport via Chileka International Airport.
The delegation of Masters is then expected to arrive in Angola this afternoon ahead of the match at 11 de Novembro Stadium in Luanda.
Masters General Secretary, Zachariah Nyirenda, said he was excited that the team had finally left for Angola.
“We thank Malawians, Football Association of Malawi and our sponsor for ensuring that we travel to play the match. We are available for suggestions and criticism so that our team can do better as per our expectations,” Nyirenda said.
Masters hope to pull a shocker on their debut in the continental competition.
Having lost in strength testing matches to Be Forward Wanderers (4-0) over three weeks ago and Nyasa Big Bullets (2-0) at Bingu National Stadium over the weekend, the odds are against the Lilongwe-based side.
But Masters Head Coach, Abasi Makawa, on Wednesday, warned the Angolan side that they should be prepared for a run for their money.
“Football is played on the ground. We are going there as underdogs, which is good for us as we have nothing to lose. Our mission is to get a positive result and finish the job at home,” Makawa said.
Makawa has kept faith in the squad that has, in the warm ups, only won once— 4-3 against TNM Super League rookies, TN Stars.
Notable players missing in the Masters’ travelling squad, include Patience Kalumo and Sam Gunda.
New recruits Chimwemwe Kumkwawa, Zeliat Nkhoma, Suwedi Limbani, Rafik Mussa and Kondwani Lufeyo have made it to Angola.
Midfielder Richard Chande was also optimistic of grinding out a result in Angola.
“We are going to Angola to compete and not as tourists. Our target is to win the match in Angola, and we are confident that we will do that,” Chande said.
Malawi’s Caf Champions League representatives, Wanderers, departed yesterday for the DRC through Chileka International Airport.
Before departure, Wanderers Vice Captain, Alfred Manyozo Junior, assured the nation that they are going to Kinshasa for nothing short of a win.
“Vita are champions in their homeland and we are also champions here; so, we are not afraid of them. We will do our best.
We just thank our Executive Committee which has made this trip a reality,” Manyozo said