By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
The Flames of Malawi have managed to salvage a point in their Africa Cup of Nations, Group L match against Guinea at the 28 Septembre Stadium on Friday night.
Head Coach Enerst Mtawali used a defensive 4-5-1 formation, with Chiukepo Msowoya playing as a lone striker. The home team pressurized in the opening minutes but Brighton Munthali in goals for the visitors on his official debut made two crucial saves just before the half hour mark.
Joseph Kamwendo, Robert Ng’ambi and Chimango Kayira did a tremendous job in the midfield as they tamed Guinea’s pace to frustrate the home fans who were watching their team for the first at home since the outbreak of Ebola Virus last year.
The visitors were composed and defended well from all the threats posed by the hosts who were attacking like vipers in search for the much needed goals and after 45 minutes of play, it was goalless.
Come second half, it was the same old story as Malawi defended jealously to continue frustrating the attacking minded Guinea who were desperate for all the three points at home on front of 35 000 fans. Munthali was called into action several times in the half as Malawi’s defense was caught napping in the line of duty, and the former under 20 shot-stopper was equal to the task.
At the other end, Gabadinho Mhango, who came in for Micium Mhone missed a clear cut chance that would have given Malawi all the three points as the match was in the dying minutes.
90 minutes on the clock, it was goalless. Five additional minutes were added on but Guinea failed to score past Munthali who has send a strong warning to veterans shot-stoppers that he is ready to take over from them and after the final whistle, it ended goalless.
The result is not bad to the Flames who will be hosting Guinea on Tuesday at Kamuzu Stadium. Earlier in the day, Group L leaders Swaziland played to a 1-amm draw against Zimbabwe at home.
Both teams have five points each, with Malawi and Guinea occupying 3rd and 4th position respectively with two points each from the same number of games. Beating Guinea at home will keep Malawi’s dreams of making it to Gabon alive.