The Flames of Malawi will today play Zambia in the quarterfinals of Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa.
Meke Mwase’s men finished top of Group B with 7 points from three games to book a quarter final place for the first time in more than four years.
However, they must break the Zambia jinx if they are to keep their dreams of winning the regional competition, a tournament they have never won despite reaching the finals twice in a row between 2002 and 2003.
The last time Malawi managed to beat the Chipolopolo Boys was in 2003 in the semifinals of the cup at Kamuzu Stadium through a penalty goal from Esau Kanyenda but since then, the Flames haven’t registered a win over their neighbors.
Despite this, Mwase is adamant that his side can break the hood and register their first win in years over Zambia.
“Anything is possible and I believe that the boys are eager to keep the ship moving. The players are very happy with how they have been performing and you have seen how Malawians, who are living in South Africa, have been supporting the team so the players know what is at stake here,” he told the local media.
Mwase is likely to make several changes to the squad that drew 1-1 with Mozambique.
Ernest Kakhobwe, Gabadinho Mhango, Richard Mbulu, Duncan Nyoni and Gerald Phiri Jnr are all expected to return to the first team having been rested on Thursday.
A win for Malawi will see them reaching the semifinals for the first time in more than a decade.
The Flames started their campaign with a convincing 3-0 win over Seychelles before beating Namibia 2-1 to topple group B and they finished with a 1-1 draw against Mozambique to win the group with 7 points, one point ahead of Namibia.