The Flames of Malawi failed to beat the Crocodiles of Lesotho following a 1-all draw in an international friendly match played at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday afternoon in readiness for the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco next year.
The visitors took a surprising lead just a minute before the recess through a corner when Malawi’ defence was caught napping but the hosts pulled level just seven minutes into the second half through Chikoti Chirwa from a set piece as well.
It proved to be a game of two halves as the visitors dominated in the first half, while the home side came back strongly in the second half.
The home side had their first chance five minutes into the game when Atusayi Nyondo, returning to the team for the first time in almost two years, blasted his effort wide when he was set through by Robert Ng’ambi.
The home team was forced to make an early substitute when Gomezgani Chirwa sustained a thigh injury, paving way for Stanley sanudi whose introduction brought a new rhythm into the team.
Robin Ngalande exchanged passes with Schumacher Kuwali before releasing Gerald Phiri Jnr who saw his drive well saved by Lesotho’ goalkeeper Mphuthi Likano for a corner.
At the other end, the visitors then settled down, launching a stunning counter hurricane attack which saw Brighton Munthali making his first save on the day when Limbikani Mzava failed to dispose Luciano Matsoso.
With less than ten minutes to play on the clock, Nyondo saw his shot hitting the side net when he was set through by Sanudi.
Despite creating lots of clear cut chances, it was Lesotho who scored their goal just a minute before the half time whistle.
A corner from the left flank of the field met Matsotso who connected well from a close range to beat Munthali in goals for the hosts, 1-0. However, the Flames came back stronger in the second half as they pulled level on 51st minute through Chirwa from a corner kick by Ngalande.
Flames Head Coach Ronny Van Geneudgen then brought in pacey Dalitso Sailesi for Kuwali and this was the change that Malawi needed as the team started attacking like a venomous snake in search for the winning goal but Lesotho’ defence was too stubborn to unlock.
Nyondo was nowhere to be seen as he was kept at bay by the visitors’ defence by Ngalande, Sanudi and Sailesi were a marvel to watch as they displayed brilliant football much to the delight of the fewer spectators who came to witness the encounter.
However, Ngalande was substituted for Chiukepo Msowoya while Nyondo was replaced by Levison Maganizo as the hosts increased their attacking options.
Sailesi’ thunder bolt was well saved by Likano for a corner.
At the other end of the field, Munthali produced a stunning save to deny the visitors from scoring with less than 8 minutes to play on the clock and after the end of 90 minutes, 1-1 it ended.
And speaking to the media, RVG said he was happy with his men’ performance but admitted that he wasn’t happy with the result of the match but promised Malawians that the team will do wonders in Morocco next year.
The team played without Gabadinho Mhango, Frank Banda, Richard Mbulu and Charles Swini due to injuries.