By Edwin Mbewe
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi National Football team the FLAMES arrived safely in CONAKRY, Guinea on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 evening with one mission of roasting and burning the National Elephants in the 2023 Ivory Coast AFCON qualifiers.
The two sides Guinea and Malawi are expected to battle it out for the vital three points in the campaign at Stade General Lansana Conte Stadium on Thursday, June 9, 2022 from 16:30 hours Guinea time while Malawian time will be from 1930 hours in the evening.
Malawi National Football team led by Romanian Mario Marian Marinica will be going into this game well inspired and with Morale high following their 2-1 victory over Addis Ababa boys (Ethiopia) at Bingu National Stadium in the capital Lilongwe,on Sunday, June 5,2022 before the state President of Malawi Lazarus Chakwera and multitudes who fully filled the 40,000 capacity BNS.
Amazulu FC (USUNTHU) new catch Frank Hellings Gabadihno Mhango scored both goals for Flames through spot kicks.
John CJ Banda, captain for the Malawi National team who plays his trade in the neighbouring Mozambique with UD Songo, said the team travelled well to CONAKRY and went straight to training on their arrival.
“We have arrived safely in Guinea, we are here for a mission which is getting 3 points. The points will be vital for the campaign as they are going to increase our chances of qualifying back to back to the continental Showpiece.
“Everyone looks good and promising in camp, we have hopes and faith to burn the National Elephants come Thursday”, Banda said.
However, Guinea led by head coach Kaba Diawara and Captain Naby Laye Keita of Liverpool FC in England will be going into Thursday’s match with an aim of recovering from the wounds caused by Pharaoh’s of Egypt in their opening game where they lost 1-0.
But this can not cause Flames to press the panic button as they played the same team in the just ended Continental showpiece in January in Yaoundé Cameroon where they lost by a goal to nil in a game which Flames played well despite the loss.
History indicates that Malawi has never won any match away in Guinea. From 2009 the two sides have met 5 times of which Syil/National Elephants won 3 times while Flames won once and one game ended in stalemate.
The matches are of AFCON and World Cup qualifiers. On June 21,2009 Guinea defeated Malawi 2-1 at the Stade Du September 28 before Flames winning the return match at the Soccer Mecca Kamuzu Stadium with the same margin on September 5, 2009.
In 2016 the two sides equalled power 0-0 on March 25 away in Guinea. Four days later on March 29, Guinea defeated Malawi at home Kamuzu Stadium by 1-2.
The latest match between the two sides was played on January 10, 2022 in the 2021 African Cup of Nations finals which took place in Cameroon YAOUNDÉ where Mario Mariana Marinica’s led side lost by a goal to nil.
However, the system which Malawi National Football team is using of recent past under the Romanian coach has caused debates in different townships across the country including Kauma, Senti, Mtandile, Chinsapo in Lilongwe, Ndilande, Ntopwa, Bangwe in Blantyre and Chibavi, Luwinga, Zolozolo, Katoto, Mchengautuba in Mzuzu.
As witnessed on Sunday against Ethiopia, Malawi used the long balls, failed to pass and support each other well, they could not build the play from the back hence Ethiopia shined with stylish football.
Other sports fraternity are worried that such play will not work out against teams like Egypt, Guinea.
For so many years Flames has been well known with passing and supporting kind of play but the results were not coming up.
With this Ping Pong (Play fast, move fast) philosophy by MMM seemed to have worked for some games Malawi has played so far ,its better to play badly and win the match than to play smart and lose the match.