By Twimepoki Mangani – Mana
Malawi National Football team, the Flames salvaged a point when they drew 2-2 against Guinea,in their last Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification home fixture played at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Saturday.
Ahead of the match Malawi was already out of contention while Guinea had already qualified.
In the opening minutes Guinea quickly settled into the match however the hosts settled well in the game taking advantage of a fairly pack stadium.
Malawi nearly drew first blood when Robert Saizi found Chawanangwa Kaonga with the latter setting up Richard Mbulu whose curved effort beat the goalie but missed the mark by inches.
The pendulum immediatelyswitched and a Guinea attack saw Aguibous Camara take a wicked free kick which goalie Brighton Munthali parried away.
In the 23rdminute, it seemed Malawi run out of options in midfield and played the ball back to goalie, Munthali through Dennis Chembezi.
Munthali played a perfect through ball towards Lanjesi Nkhoma who pounced on the ball after Dembo Sylla missed the clearance and Nkhoma’s cross was then slotted home by Saizi.
Malawi should have had more goals after concluding the first half with seven chances compared to Guinea’s 2.
In the second half Munthali was substituted for Clever Mkungula following an injury in the first half.
Guinea then equalized through Camara in the 56th minute and increased the lead 1-2, minutes later through Saidou Sow.
In the 87th minute Saizi took Malawi’s eighty corner which Chaziya headed home for the equalizer.
During post match interviews, Head Coach for Malawi, Patrick Mabedi said his team played below expectations while noting the progress made by the newly formed team.
“I was not quite impressed with the way we played,we should have managed the game better and the injury to our goalie affected us.”
“So far let’s give credit to the boys, this continuity is important and I believe at the end of the day they shall be able to compete with anyone,” he said.
Coach for Guinea, Kada Diawara acknowledged that Malawi gave his younger fielded team a tough match up.
“Am content with the result, I said to the players before the match that they need to fight because Malawi is a very good team.”
“After conceding the first goal it was difficult to react but we changed our system and players to get back,” he said.
Egypt and Guinea qualified from Group D having finished with 15 and 10 points respectively while Malawi finished thirds with five points and Ethiopia are fourth with four points.