Malawi launched its campaign in the 2018 edition of Cosafa Cup by losing to Mauritius 0-1 at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in South Africa’s Polokwane.

Malawi and Mauritius players fight for the ball in Group B

In a Group B opener, Flames coach Ronny Van Geneugden led his side in search of a win over the Islanders, yet they failed to hit the ground running.

With Robin Ngalande and Richard Mbulu in the starting line-up, Malawi enjoyed the support but they went into the tunnel trailing.

The encounter also saw an early goal when Damien Balisson got onto the score sheet in the 15th minute with a low shot in what was seen as a move against the run of play.

Despite keeping their counterparts under siege, Malawi were not clinical upfront, but they kept troubling the Islanders.

Malawi had plenty of chances to make it 1-1 through Ngalande and ex-Orlando Pirates striker Chiukepo Msowoya, but the duo fired blanks.

The loss leaves ‘RVG’ and his troops in third position on the log table and Mauritius at number two whilst Botswana lead – they both have three points.

“We have lost because we conceded too early and it was not necessary to do that. It is unfortunate that we lost. I am happy with the result but not the performance,” the Belgian said in a post-match interview.

Malawi next meet Botswana Wednesdsy and Angola on June 1.

Malawi line-up: Munthali, Chirwa, Lanjesi, Cholopi, Sambani, Namwela (Msowoya), Banda, Sailesi (Phiri), Ngalande, Simkonda, Mbulu.