After losing their Group A opening match to Tanzania in the Cosafa Castle Cup on Sunday afternoon, Flames head coach Ronny Van Geneugden has said this evening’s clash against Mauritius is a must win for his boys.
Malawi were beaten 2-nil by Tanzania to start their campaign on a very poor note despite performing well in the second half.
Now, the Belgian tactician, who was very surprised with his team’s performance in the first half, has said his boys must forget their opening defeat and focus on beating Mauritius.
Speaking ahead of the match in South Africa, RVG said it was very important for his men to move on from Sunday’s defeat in order to register a win over their opponents.
“It’s a must win game for us today so that we can move on from Sunday’s defeat. We cannot underestimate our friends but with the way the boys performed in the second half, we can snatch something out of the game,” he said.
During Sunday’s defeat, Malawi were caught napping in the line of duty as they were fond of playing too deep into their own half, inviting the Taifa Stars who made no mistake to find the back of the net twice inside the opening 20 minutes of the match through a Yahya Ramadhan brace.
The combination of Yamikani Chester, Jabulani Linje and Dalitso Sailesi upfront did not materialize as RVG’s men only managed a single shot on goal in the entire 45 minutes of the first half.
Come second half, Malawi were slowly coming back into the game as substitute Innocent Bokosi had some shots saved by Tanzania’ shot-stopper.
It was Dalitso Sailesi who was a marvel to watch as he created two clear cut chances only to see Lucky Malata and Yamikani Chester blasting the ball away from the goalmouth.
A defeat to Mauritius will see Malawi exiting the tournament in group stage.
Group winners will progress to the quarterfinal where they will play host nation South Africa.
Ever since the cup’s inception, Flames have never won it but they came close in 2002 and 2003 when they reached the finals in which they lost on both occasions.
The match will be played under floodlights at Royal Bafokeng Stadium at exactly 19:00 hours CAT.