The Island proved too difficult for Malawi as they lost 2-1 to Comoros Island to officially end their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying hopes.
As usual, a minute after the kick-off, the Flames were 1-0 down courtesy of a fantastic free-kick from the M’dahoma Kassim who caught Charles Swini napping in the line of duty.
Despite conceding, Ronny Van Geneugden’s men were better than the visitors as they exchanged brilliant passes only to see Gastin Simkonda missing the seater from a Yamikani Chester’s cross.
Malawi created lots of goal scoring opportunities, with Chiukepo Msowoya missing Malawi’s closest chance on day when he was found unmarked in the box by Yamikani Chester only to spur his effort over the cross bar with M’bwana already beaten in the line of duty.
RVG’s men continued to dominate, playing some brilliant football but lacked fire power as Simkonda, Richard Mbulu and Msowoya kept on misfiring.
Come second half, Malawi brought in Patrick Phiri for Simkonda and this change brought some rhythm in the attack as Malawi pressurized in search for the equalizer.
Malawi’s hardworking spirit finally paid off when Phiri leveled the scoring with a fantastic strike outside the penalty box to make it 1-all.
However, Flames’ celebration only lasted for 120 seconds as the hosts restored their lead after the visitors were caught sleeping in the line of duty, 2-1.
The goal was decisive, with the hosts defending jealously and giving no chance to RVG’s men for a come back.
Malawi came close to equalizing but Mbulu’s effort was parried away for a corner.
The Flames threw everything upfront as they looked to find the much needed goals but Yamikani Chester’s brilliance failed to make an impact as he ended up being fouled and the final product landed on Comoros Island’s tall defenders who protected their goalkeeper from assault.
With minutes to play, the hosts should have scored their third goal but Swini produced one of the best saves on the day to keep Malawi into the game.
Despite Flames’ pressure to level the scoreline, Comoros Island stood firm to collect their first full points at home which saw them move into the third position, dislodging Malawi who have dropped fourth to end their AFCON qualification hopes.
With a game to go, Malawi’s maximum points will not be enough to take them to Cameroon with Morocco already on position one with 10 points.
The group B leaders beat the Indomitable Lions 2-0 to extend their lead at the top to ten points with a game to play.