Malawi hammers Sao Tome to move third in 2026 WC qualifiers

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Malawi Football Team

The Malawi National Football Team registered their second victory in Group H in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers after beating Sao Tome Principle 3-1 at Bingu National Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

It only took 6 minutes for the hosts to make a breakthrough through Chawanangwa Kaonga following a defensive mix-up from the visitors, 1-0.

Four minutes later, it was 2-0. A Chifundo Mphasi’s powerful shot was well saved by Mateus Pedro, and from the rebound, Lanjesi Nkhoma pounced with a powerful shot that beat the shot-stopper into the bottom corner, 2-0.

Flames Malawi
Flames beat Sao Tome Principle 2-0.

At the other end, Viegas Ebanilson saw his weaker volley, well saved by debutant George Chikooka inside the six-yard box.

In all fairness, the hosts should have had more goals in the opening half through Mphasi, who kept on missing chance after chance as Malawi pressed from all angles in search of goals.

With 35 minutes played, Patrick Mabedi introduced Patrick Mwaungulu for Robert Saizi and moments after coming in, the winger saw his rocket shot missing the upright with an inch.

Mphasi was at the receiving end of Mwaungulu’s cross, but the forward fired wide from close range. The visitors posed no threat in the entire first half, and Malawi took a massive 2-0 lead to the half-time break.

After the recess, the visitors were a different side as they started the final half better than how they performed in the first half.

Malawi failed to regain control of the match as they were subjected to a high-pressing side eager to reduce the arrears, but their finishing composure was poor.

Mwaungulu should have registered his name on the scoresheet when he connected well with a cross from Nkhoma but his ball hit the post.

The visitors pulled one back through Denilson Silva who made a first-time connection to beat Chikooka to his left-hand side, 2-1.

At this point, Malawi needed a goal to ease the pressure but Mphasi fired over the crossbar when he was found unmarked by Mwaungulu.

This miss almost punished the hosts who nearly conceded when the visitors launched a stunning counter-hurricane attack, but Adjeil Neves’s dangerous pass into the box was early dealt with by Chikooka.

The Flames nailed the final nail on the visitors with their third goal through Mphasi. A beautiful and intelligent play from Mwaungulu saw him beating two defenders before setting up the Zambian-based forward to slot the ball home to make it 3-1. The goal was scored in the 77th minute.

With three minutes remaining, Chikondi Kamanga, Henri Kumwenda, and Zeliat Nkhoma were introduced for Mphasi, Chimwemwe Idana and Chawanangwa Kaonga.

Both teams had few chances, but in the end, Malawi registered their second win to move third with six points.

This was Malawi’s biggest win at the giant stadium ever since it was opened in 2017.

Their next assignment is a trip away to Malabo where they will face Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday.

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