Malawi national team’s hopes to participate in the 2017 African Cup of Nations have hit a snag after being handed an embarrassing 3-0 defeat by the Warriors of Zimbabwe at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Sunday afternoon.
The results have seen Zimbabwe qualifying for AFCON 2017 which will take place in Gabon next year after Swaziland beat Guinea 1-0 in the other Group L encounter. The results mean the Warriors are now on 11 points and cannot be surpassed.
Knowledge Musona opened the scoring for the Warriors through a penalty in the 15th minute after goalkeeper Charles Swini brought down Zimbabwe’s player. Khama Billiat added a second with a brilliant finish after receiving a beautiful cross from Musona in the 35th minute.
Cuthbert Malajila sealed the winner with a header at the end to clinch the Warriors victory.
It’s the third time the Warriors have made to the continental show piece.
Zimbabwe could however still find themselves with a mountain to climb even if they beat Malawi on Sunday should Guinea also win away to Swaziland. Such an outcome would leave the Warriors needing to avoid defeat in their final match away to the West Africans.
In the field of play, Malawi was completely disorganized in the first half. The defence commanded by Harry Nyirenda failed to contain pressure mounted by man of the moment Billiat and Musona.
The defence was also left open as wing defenders Stanley Sanudi and Francis Mlimbika were overlapping each time they had a ball. Upfront, Chiukepo Msowoya and Peter Wadabwa were just passengers with no any attempt at goal.
In the midfield, the services of Chimango Kaira and Robert Ng’ambi were missed. Rafick Namwera and Wonder Jereman struggled so much and they were reduced to spectators at some point as the Zimbabweans took total control of the engine room.
However, Veteran Joseph Kamwendo was at his best with his usual pinpoint passes.
In the second half, the Flames reorganized themselves and they displayed good football. Msowoya fails to slot from close range when he had the goalie only to beat towards the end of the game.