………….MALAWI 0-0 SENEGAL
By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi National Football Team, The Flames, on Tuesday 18th January, 2022 held the Africans giants, the Teranga Lions of Senegal to a nil nil draw in the African Cup of Nations Group B last game in Baffousam,Omnisport stadium, Cameroon.
Flames heading into that game as underdogs, showed some resilience, composure and confidence as the back four of Lawrence Chaziya, Stanley Sanudi, Dennis Chembezi and Gomezgani Chirwa tightly closed the highways making it difficult for Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and his attacking group to move and take shots at Charles Thom’s goal who was making his Flames international debut.
First half ended nil nil though Malawi had played three corner kicks to Senegal one,and had two goal attempts against three for the Teranga Lions.
Second half Malawi started on a slow note giving doubts to many Malawians who were following the match on screens and radios but they quickly regrouped well pinning the Senegalese not to move especially on the midfield where John Banda wearing the armband in the evening,
Chimwemwe Idana,Francisco Madinga and Micium Mhone were playing. At about 60th minute the technical panel led by the Romanian, Mario Mariana Marinica, made some substitutions.
Khuda Muyaba,Micium Mhone paved ways for Richard Mbulu and Yamikani Chester, Peter Banda and Robin Ngalande for Chimwemwe Idana and Francisco Madinga and this paid dividend to Malawi as they fueled their attacks.
Despite Malawi and Senegal attempting the shots none of them got it right until the referee blew the whistle to end the match and it was confirmed about the historical performance of the 129th ranked country Malawi that has held the 29th placed Senegal.
Silver Strikers FC goalkeeper who made his debut for the Flames was voted man of the match for his highly spirited performance, saving shots from Sadio Mane and of course Diallo.
Mario Mariana Manica said Senegal was tough one but his boys tried hard as they made some attacks and made some shots which was good.
Manica said the boys have been determined all the way from Blantyre, he then dedicated the draw to all Malawians who are displaced due to floods in the different parts of the country.
With the draw now Malawi has four points from the three games but still they haven’t qualified to the last 16 as Senegal who have five points and Guinea who have four points have gone through.
Guinea has gone through despite their two to one defeat to Zimbabwe because they defeated Malawi in the first game of the group B.
Malawi now in a waiting game. The Flames have to wait for the results of games in other groups to see if they finish as best losers and hope for their maiden round of 16 qualification in the Continental showpiece.