The same old story as Malawi Flames went down 2-nil to Tanzania Taifa Stars in the Cosafa Castle Cup opening group a match at Moruleng Stadium in South Africa. Recently Tanzania Government has invested more money in the team in hope of improvement, seems to be paying off at the expense of the Malawi Flames that have struggled to get enough financial support from the Mutharika Government.
Yahya Ramadhan scored both goals in the early part of the first half of the match to send the guest nation top of the group.
According to those watching the match the Flames head coach Ronny Van Geneudgen who has attacked his new team for unfocused long ball play, used a very attacking minded formation, with Dalitso Sailesi, Jabulani Linje.
However his new formula did not work as the Malawi Football team was pinned deep inside their own half most of the Contest. Tanzania Taifa stars took advantage and pounced early in the match hoisting two scores that basically wrote the outcome with no hope of the Flames making a comeback.
The Tanzania Taifa stars got the their first goal 12 minutes into the contest when a Malawi defender failed to clear a cross from the right flank, allowing Ramadhan to smash the ball past Malawi reliable goal keeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
At the other end, Malawi’s first shot at goal came from Dalitso Sailesi following an exchange of passes with Jabulani Linje.
In the 20th minute the Taifa Stars made it 2-nil. Star of the Match Ramadhan forced his way into the penalty box to slot past Ernest Kakhobwe once again into the back of the net, 2-0.
Malawi coach Belgian Ronny Van Geneugden then made a first half substitution, bringing in UN effective Innocent Bokosi for Dennis Chembezi.
Malawi Flames had their moments when Sailesi, who was a marvel to watch despite the poor showing, dribbled past two defenders to set up Yamikani Chester who fired wide from the goal. Moments later another exciting play, Lucky Malata blasted his effort over the Cross-bar.
Down by two goals in the second half the Malawi Flames were a very much changed side as they pressed harder in search for goals, However Tanzania Taifa Stars’ refused to relinquish their advantage to the Malawi side.
Bokosi’ header was saved by Tanzania’ goalkeeper before Linje’ miss inside the penalty box.
The score could have been more lopsided if it had not been for good play from Goal-keeper Kakhobwe who produced two stunning saves to deny Saimon Msuva and Elic Maguli from scoring.
Sailesi’ cross was well met in the penalty box by Bokosi only to fire wide from the goal mouth.
With some few minutes to play, Binwel Katinji was introduced for Simeon Singa as Malawi tried their level best to snatch something out of the game but Tanzania stood firm to collect first points of the competition.
After the final whistle, Belgian Ronny Van Geneugden said: “My boys were afraid in the first half and I was very surprised but during the half time, I talked to them and we played very well.
” It was very good to see the boys playing well and we have taken some positives ahead of the second game,” he said.
Malawi will play Mauritius in their second game before completing their group a task with a clash against Angola. Group winner will play South Africa in the quarterfinals of the competition.
Recently Tanzania has invested more money in the team in hope of improvement. Tanzania has beaten Burkina Faso twice in the African Nations cup qualifiers and beat Cameroon 1–0 in a friendly match. The most recent result was a 3–1 win against Morocco in World Cup Qualifying in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tanzania was defeated by Algeria 7–0 in the 2018 world cup qualifiers.