Flames made Malawian proud

By Edwin Mbewe

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi National Football Team, the Flames have been evicted from the 2021 continental showcase in their attempt in the round of 16 by suffering a one to two defeat under The Atlas Lions of Morocco.

The dreams of the Flames to reach the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations currently taking place in Yaoundé, Cameroon, got blown away after the West African giants, the Atlas Lions of Morocco outplayed to extinguish “The Flames”.

Orlando Pirates attacker Frank Hellings Mhango scored a beauty and probably the goal of the tournament at thr 7th minute in the first half.

This gave hopes to the Malawian soccer fans with support of some Zambian fellow fans that the Flames were going to write a history.

Bu it was against the expectations as Morocco took full charge of the game controlling the midfield spiced by aggressive attacks. No wonder Ayoub El Kaabi levelled the scores to one each at 45+2 minutes.

This broke hearts of many Malawians in several townships of the country such as Mtsiliza, Senti, Chigwirizano, Kameza, Manje,Ndilande, Chibavi, Mchengautuwa and Zolozolo who banked in their belove Flames.

First half ended one all with Malawi looking inferior under siege of the Moroccans who kept on attacking despite their efforts being denied by the posts.

Came second half, Malawi started on a slower pace than expected, giving the balls so cheaply, failing to keep the possessions with poor passing accuracy and marking hence Morocco took advantage as they had to move freely all over the field of play.

Flames goalminder, Charles Thom made several beautiful saves with Francisco Madinga, Gabadihno Mhango, Khuda Muyaba making some attacking efforts but to no avail as they were blocked by the solid defence of Morocco.

Mario Marinica and Meck Mwase made several substitutions to restore life to the struggling Flames. Silver Strikers’ Mark Fodya and Stain Davie made their debut replacing Stanley Sanudi and Francisco Madinga.

Robin Ngalande and Gerald Phiri Jnr replaced Chimwemwe Idana and Micium Mhone respectively but this changed nothing.

Gerald Phiri Jnr committed a foul and a free kick was awarded to the Moroccans leading to Hakimi directly scoring from the free kick spot sending the ball far post of Charles Thom. This was at 70th minute.

Morocco continued with their dominance until the last whistle, It was the end of the road for the beloved Flames which were eying for their first ever quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations but “The Atlas Lions” were too good for them hence failed to match their play.

Frank Hellings Mhango has managed to score three goals at the tournament. Malawi has scored three and conceded four.

The elimination of Malawi, Zimbabwe and Comoros Island in the competition means now renders Southern Africa having no representative.

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