Malawi salvaged some pride to get their only win in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers following a 1-0 win over Swaziland on Sunday afternoon.
Midfielder Gerard papa Phiri scored the lone goal in the seventh minute from a 35 metre free kick
Striker Gastin Simkondo was fouled a few meters from the centre-circle and set-piece specialist Bidvest Wits’ Phiri stepped up to take the free-kick.
He curved in a beauty that went over the wall and dipped towards the near post. Swaziland goalkeeper Gwebu, caught an unawares tried to punch the ball out only to guide it into his own net.
Phiri could could have had a brace had it not been for the cross bar which kept out yet another set piece after another foul on Simkonda.
Striker Gabadinho Mhango almost doubled the lead but his shot just outside the box hit the cross bar as well.
In the second half the Flames pulled out right back Chagoma and introduced Stanley Sanudi while Phiri Jnr and Simkonda were replaced by Rafiq Namwela and Peter Wadabwa but could not get a second goal.
It ended 1-0 and Flames coach Ramadhan said it was a mission accomplished.
“I promised to win the game to make Malawians happy. That’s all,” he said.
Flames finished bottom of the table with five points while Swaziland have finished second with eight points. Later in the day Zimbabwe lost their first game in the group going down 1-0 to Guinea but still won the group with 11 points to qualify for next years Afcon finals while Guinea finished third with eight points.
Flames Line Up:
Charles Swini; Limbikani Mzava(C),Steven Chagoma(Stanley Sanudi),Miracle Gabeya,Francis Mlimbika; John Banda,Robert Ng’ambi,Gerald Phiri Jnr (Rafiq Namwela),Chimango Kayira;Gabadinho Mhango,Gastin Simkonda(Peter Wadabwa)
Ernest Kakhobwe,Harry Nyirenda,Peter Wadabwa,Stanley Sanudi,Rafiq Namwela,Gilbert Chirwa,Micium Mhone