Orlando Pirates forward Gabadinho Mhango did not register a shot at goal and failed to make an impact in Malawi’s win over Botswana on Tuesday afternoon.
The Flames made it through to the group stages of 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualifiers after a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Zebras.
Meke Mwase maintained the same line up he used in the first leg but some of his charges had a very disappointing afternoon.
Mhango registered no shot at goal and his impact was very minimal as he was closed down by the Zebras defense.
The former Nyasa Big Bullets, Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows and Bidvest Wits forward misplaced more passes than any other Flames player before being substituted for Robin Ngalande.
On a lighter note, a superb performance from youngster Charles Petro and goalkeeper Brighton Munthali ensured a positive finish to the match as the duo demonstrated the reason why Mwase entrusted then for the top job.
Below are the player ratings.
Brighton Munthali (9.8): Two great saves within 22 minutes toward the end of the first half and another quick intervention in the second half proved his class. He was able to command his defence and his ball distribution was just fantastic.
Charles Petro (9.0): A young man with a Lion’s heart. Just four months ago, he was playing for Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves but his performance on Tuesday was superb. He was confident on the ball, closely monitored every movement that the visitors made and he was able to lead the game from his own half.
Peter Cholopi (7.5): Not at his level best but the Be Forward Wanderers defender was very solid at the back. He made some crucial clearances and he combined well with Petro and his marshalling of the defence was impeccable and his long passes were true class. Still, he made two serious errors that almost saw Botswana scoring but he was saved by Munthali.
Precious Sambani (6.0): He had a very quiet game and he was caught out of position too often. He was good when attacking but found it very difficult to regain his position and he was thrice rescued by Petro. Botswana should have taken advantage of his lack of pace.
Stanley Sanudi (8.0): He had a very good though he, at times, allowed the visitors to attack more often but he was particularly solid and cleared the lines very well. His understanding with Cholopi was good to see.
Yamikani Chester (9.0): Another good show in by the flying right winger who sound on attacking forays and in defence. He always found space on the right and delivered some low drive crosses which should have been used better.
Gerald Phiri Jnr (8.0): Once again, he came to Malawi’s rescue with a fantastic goal from the spot. Though he was not at his level best, his attacking prowess saw him hitting the upright with a brilliant freekick and his ability to attack almost produced something for the hosts had it been the two forwards were found Scot free.
Chimwemwe Idana (6.0): He wasn’t good especially in the first half where he was completely closed down by the visitors. The under 23 captain is known for his ability to attack and unlock opponent’s defence but he did very little in the entire 90 minutes no wonder Malawi’s strikers registered no shot at goal as fewer chances were created.
John Banda (5.0): He was completely out of the game and it was very surprising to see him finishing the entire 90 minutes. He had a very quiet game and seemed to struggle to get into rhythm as the defending midfielder.
Gabadinho Mhango (5.0): Perhaps the high expectations placed on his shoulders weighed heavily on the Orlando Pirates forward, who had a very quite game. He was easily pushed off the ball and struggled to find his way past the big Zebras defense.
Richard Mbulu (7.0): He was the busiest on the day as he made Botswana’s defense sweat in the entire 90 minutes. He was the most fouled player and he won the penalty that was scored by Phiri Jnr. Though he registered a single attempt on goal, his work rate proved to be the decider as he tormented Botswana’s defense like nobody’s business.
Robin Ngalande (4.5): He came in for Mhango and made some positive impact. His introduction allowed Malawi to press harder. However, his teammates failed to use his pace by not sending through long diagonal passes to the left for him to pounce on.