BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)--The Flames have lost 0-1 to Zambia in a friendly match played in Lusaka Wednesday afternoon.
The hosts scored through Collins Sikombe in the 14th minute.
The Malawi National football team returns home on today Thursday and will play another friendly match against Zimbabwe’s the Warriors on Sunday at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The Flames are preparing for crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double header away and home against Burkina Faso next month.
Collins Sikombe scored the goal that gave the hosts the slim win after they were the dominant side at the empty Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
The match started with both teams observing a minute of silence for the late FAZ vice-president Rix Mweemba, who also played for the national team as a defender.
Malawi won two consecutive corners in the eighth and in the 10th minutes but Zambia were equal to the challenge as they cleared the danger.
Chipolopolo grabbed the opener in the 14th minute after Sikombe manoeuvred around the penalty box and fired past the Flames’ goalkeeper Brighton Munthali.
The opener saw both teams consequently increase the tempo with Malawi moving forward more often as their hosts also launched attacks whenever they won the ball.
The increased tempo saw the emergence of hard tackles and Zambia’s Luika Banda was the first one to be booked in the 23rd minute. The Flames’ captain Gerald Phiri was the second to receive a yellow card as he was cautioned in the 34th minute.
Zambia coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic made three changes in the early moments of the second half where he withdrew the goal scorer Sikombe and his place was filled by Amity Shamende.
Zacharia Chilongoshi was replaced by Gozon Mutale while Godfrey Ngwenya came on in the place of Kelvin Kampumbu.
Malawi also responded by introducing Chawanga Kaonga and Schumacher Kuwali in the places of Richard Mbulu and Yamikani Chester.
Zambia again made some more changes in the 65th minute when Benson Sakala and Dominic Chanda exchanged places, Bruce Musakanya took Kevin Mubanga’s position, Akakulubelwa Mwachiaba went in to replace Emmanuel Chabula and Sebastien Mwange replaced Jackson Kakunta in goal.
Zambia will face the Harambee Stars on Friday in what will be the second friendly tie before travelling south to face Bafana Bafana on October 11.
The former African champions are preparing for Afcon and World Cup qualifiers as well as the upcoming African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament in Cameroon.
In a group that consists Algeria, Zimbabwe and Botswana, Zambia remain winless after two Afcon qualifiers and that means Micho has a daunting task as he hopes to guide the team back to the biennial tournament.
Flames were drawn in Group B of Afcon qualifiers alongside Burkina Faso, Uganda and the winner between Seychelles and South Sudan.