By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The elephants of Ivory Coast on Friday, October 8, 2021 put off the Flames which came from the fire Malawi National Football Team lit at their own home Orlando Stadium.
The belief and hope which many Malawians had for their beloved team were shattered by the Ivorian who defeated Malawi by three goals to nil.In a game which the Flames started on a high note in the first minutes of the first half, with Peter Banda and Gabadihno Mhango all having chances of putting Malawi on the lead.
But Ivory Coast opened the score sheet at 35th minute, through Alain Max-Gradel after capitalizing on the poor defending by Malawian defenders, Charles Petro and Stanley Sanudi who failed to clear the aerial ball. Ibrahim Sangare scored the second for the visitors at 84th minute while Jeremie Boga came off the bench to score the third for the Ivorians in 90th plus minute of the game.
The defeat means Malawi has put themselves under pressure and for them to qualify to Qatar 2022 World Cup is now a mountain to climb as they have now lost two of the three games they have played so far.
Ivory Coast now lead group D with seven points from three games having beaten Cameroon and Malawi,and a draw against Mozambique in Maputo.
The two sides meet again on Monday in Benin which is a home for Ivory Coast.It is difficult to predict if Malawi will be able to recover from today’s loss away as it looks to be poor technically, with the midfield lacking creativity especially on the central where John CJ Banda and Gerald Phiri Jnr were playing.
Malawi’s left back was also another challenge as Dennis Chembezi failed to stand the heat from the Elephants who easily put off the Flames which was coming from the fire lit by Malawi.
Malawi is doubtful if they will have their captain Limbikani Mzava who was stretched off the pitch due to muscle cramp in Benin.The Elephants last lost to Malawi in 1974 in a friendly match,but in 2010 the Ivorians defeated Malawi five nil in Abidjan before playing one all draw at Kamuzu Stadium.
Malawian hopes and beliefs now ray on the Scorchers who play their first ever COSAFA Women’s Championship finals against Tanzania on 9th October, 2021 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth-South Africa.