The Flames have concluded their COSAFA Cup assignment with a 2-1 defeat to Senegal at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, exiting the competition without a win.
Malawi were already out of the tournament after they played a 1-1 draw with Namibia on Tuesday and they nearly registered another draw until they conceded in the 90th minute after a defensive relapse from a set piece.
Meck Mwase made four changes to the side that played on Tuesday, with Richard Chimbamba, Eric Kaonga, Mike Mkwate, Zicco Mkanda and Micium Mhone all starting for Schumaker Kuwali, Chimwemwe Idana, William Thole, Mark Fodya and Khuda Myaba.
The Flames were 1-0 down just after 11 minutes when Chimbamba failed to tame a cross from the left which landed at Abou Diop before slotting the ball into an empty net, 1-0.
The Teranga Lions had a penalty shout turned down in the 26th minute when a powerful freekick was fumbled by Chimbamba who ended up bringing down Diop in the box but the referee penalised the forward, a decision which was questionable as it was clear that the goalkeeper was at fault.
Malawi made a double substitution in the 30th minute when Myaba and Seleman replaced Mkanda and Vitumbiko Kumwenda.
Myaba leveled the scoreline in the 35th minute through a header following a good work from Mhone who delivered a cross into the box which was missed by goalkeeper Ndiaye and found Seleman who wasted no time by laying the ball down for the striker to make a simple finish, 1-1.
In the second half, Malawi dominated through Myaba, Seleman, Mhone and Mkwate but to find the winning goal proved futile as the Senegalese defended jealously to frustrate Mwase’s men.
In the 55th minute, Malawi invaded Senegal’s half through Mhone who released Myaba but the forward opted to shoot from a far when passing to Maxwell Gasten was a better option than wasting the opportunity.
At the other end, Chimbamba was called into action to save Fall’s shot which nearly ended in the back of the net.
In the 65th minute, Kaonga’s well taken corner kick was saved by Ndiaye Beford hitting the side net from the rebound.
Mwase brought in Idana for Mkwate as he tried to increase the attacking options in search for a goal but every effort was in vain courtesy of a brilliant defending from the guest nation.
With Mozambique leading over Namibia in the other Group B match, the Senegalese presser harder for the winner and they almost doubled their lead in the 85th minute but Chimbaba was on point when he produced a save to deny Dominique Mendy’s shot.
As the match was approaching to the 90th minute, Taonga Chimodzi was stretched out due to an injury but he recovered to complete the match.
Just when everybody thought the match was heading towards a draw, Malawi conceded in the 92nd minute.
A freekick which was delivered into the box was connected well into the net by Diop who was completely unmarked by Flames defenders to head past Chimbamba who could do nothing to prevent the Teranga Lions from snatching a last minute win, 2-1 and that was all for the day as Senegal finished top of Group B with Nine points.
As for Malawi, the defeat means they have finished the tournament without a win with two points from four games.
They drew 2-2 with Zimbabwe in the opening game before suffering a 2-0 defeat to Mozambique on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Malawi drew 1-1 with Namibia before losing 2-1 to Senegal.
Mwase’s men have scored four goals and conceded seven goals.
Myaba is Malawi’s top goalscorer at the tournament with two goals, seconded by Kuwali and Mhone with a goal each.
All the three goalkeepers that were picked for the tournament failed to keep a clean sheet in the matches that were involved.
Ernest Kakhobwe played two games in which he conceded four games whilst William Thole, who played once conceded a goal, with Chimbamba conceding two goals in the final match.
At the tournament, Mwase used different starting line ups in all the four matches.