The Malawi National football team has never tasted major success in their history as they have toiled for years to build lasting success in the beautiful game.
The Flames qualified for just their third ever Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon 2022 but have never been to a FIFA World Cup and finished bottom of the latest qualifying campaign. Meke Mwase’s men were able to muster only one win from six group D games and their quest continues for that moment on the world stage.
Overlyzer offers tips on how to become a professional tipster and they will chronicle how the Southern Africans went about their second round of World Cup qualification between September to November 2021.
Featuring in a group alongside Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mozambique, here is how Malawi have fared in their most recent games.
Cameroon 2-0 Malawi
Malawi’s quest to try to reach unchartered territory began at Olembe Stadium on September 3 in a daunting task against the nation that has qualified for the most World Cup tournaments in Africa.
Goals from Vincent Aboubakar and Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui made light work of the away side with two first half goals. Aboubakar gave Cameroon the lead in the ninth minute and there was no looking back as they doubled their tally 22 minutes in.
The Indomitable Lions unsurprisingly edged 51% of the ball possession but Malawi outshot their hosts 11 to eight and also had more corners. All in all, the gap in quality was telling and they lacked the cutting edge to put the ball past their esteemed opponents.
Malawi 1-0 Mozambique
The Flames hosted their matchday two opponents at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa after they had met earlier in July with Mozambique winning in the COSAFA Cup.
Malawi were out for revenge against relatively familiar opponents and striker Richard Mbulu scored 10 minutes in with an uncontested header into an empty net after the visiting goalkeeper made a hash of a risky back pass.
The visitors dominated the ball with 61% possession as they chased a goal but it was Malawi who looked more threatening with nine shots albeit finding the net with the single one they had on target.
Mwase’s side were able to hold on to the lead for their first win in six games and confidence was understandably sky-high with three points from the first six available.
Malawi 0-3 Ivory Coast
October’s international break saw Malawi back in Orlando Stadium for a ‘home’ fixture against their distinguished opponents.
The Ivorians were duly efficient in their thrashing of the Flames as they consolidated their position at the top of group D.
Malawi failed to clear a Serge Aurier cross from the right that Max Gradel converted with a left-footed shot for the opener on 36 minutes. It allowed the Elephants to control proceedings with a 54% share of the ball as well as hit more efforts on target.
Hence, Ivory Coast scored twice in the final five minutes of the contest with Ibrahim Sangaré first putting the result beyond doubt before Jeremie Boga put gloss on the scoreline with an individual effort as he hit a left-footed shot to the top corner from the edge of the box.
This meant the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations champions stretched their unbeaten run to nine in all competitions.
Ivory Coast 2-1 Malawi
Both sides reconvened for a quick turnaround of the last of the double-header tie three days later at Stade de l’Amitie in Cotonou.
Patrice Beaumelle’s Ivorians underlined the gulf in class between them and their opponents as they managed 65% possession and also peppered Brighton Munthali’s goal with more shots.
Arsenal’s Nicolas Pépé scored in the second minute after a defensive mixup from Malawi who were able to pull level when Khuda Ike Muyaba fizzed in a left-footed shot 20 minutes in.
Nevertheless, Franck Kessié asserted the hosts’ dominance with a penalty just past the hour mark. Ivory Coast were now unbeaten in 10 games and looking good for a place in the playoffs if they could see off the challenge of Cameroon.
Malawi 0-4 Cameroon
The five-time African champions ran riot back at Orlando stadium as they sought to go top of the group in the final international break of 2021.
Malawi saw John Banda sent off for a handball on the line and Vincent Aboubakar slotted in the resulting penalty.
In the 41st minute, Andre Anguissa was teed up on the edge of the box from a short corner and rifled in the ball on the half-volley. Cameroon were in utter control of proceedings.
The second half was a routine one for the Indomitable Lions due to their two-goal lead and they added to their advantage to crush any faint hopes of a revival.
Christian Bassogog rounded off the scoring with a two-minute brace in the final five minutes of the second period to complete a comprehensive victory for Cameroon. First, he danced around the Malawi defence before poking in under the goalkeeper and netted another clinical finish to the far corner.
What was a totally overwhelming showing ensured Cameroon went into the final group D game needing a win against Ivory Coast to secure top spot and progress into the playoffs.
Mozambique 1-0 Malawi
Malawi looked to close out their second round campaign on a high against the only team they had defeated in group D, six points and third place in a group containing two giants would fill Mwase’s men with confidence.
However, Mozambique were the victors in their final 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification match at Stade de l’Amitié in Benin. The Mambas were the brighter side in the first period and dominated possession as well as hit the crossbar with goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe well beaten.
The pressure and endeavour of Mozambique ultimately paid off when Malawi captain Limbikani Mzava headed a long pass under pressure for an own-goal in the 51st minute.
Malawi toiled for an equalizer but were ultimately unsuccessful as their campaign disappointingly ended in last place, with their opponents having finished a point better off.