Malawi’s Flames were on Saturday afternoon held to one-all draw by visitors Lesotho’s Likuena in an international friendly match played at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Blue Eagles midfielder Micium Mhone gave Malawi the lead in the 20th minute after pouncing on a cut-back from Nyasa Big Bullets youngster Alick Lungu.
However, Lesotho reorganised themselves piling more pressure on the hosts in the second half.
The visitors finally got their equaliser in the 64th minute from the spot kick following a handball by defender Miracle Gabeya.
Replays showed that the Mighty Mukuru Wanderers defender did not handle the ball, but the referee Newton Nyirenda saw it otherwise.
Coach Mario Marinica’s starting line-up had goalkeeper Brighton Munthali , defender Stanley Sanudi, Lawrence Chaziya, Gabeya and Dan Chimbalanga
The central midfield had Mhone, Charles Petro and Chimwemwe Idana.
Upfront, Mighty Mukuru Wanderers’ Christopher Kumwembe played wide on the right side with Lungu was on the left.
Wanderers’ forward Mphasto Kamanga played as the lone striker.
Marinica however, made several changes in the second-half in the second half, introducing experienced players such as Chiukepo Msowoya and Stenie Dave.
In post-match interview Marinica said despite the draw Malawi showed character.
He said: “The match was good for us. For 60 minutes we played well after that we struggled and this is what I was saying that the players lack match fitness. But overall we should look at positive side. We created a lot chances and scored. On their equalisers I don’t think that was a penalty. But well such is life.”
His counterpart Veselin Jelušić said the result was not important for Likuena.
He said: “The result sis less important for us. What is important is our preparations for the Afcon qualifier against Zambia.
“But Malawi team is strong team. You had more chances during the game but in the second half we were a better team. Overall I am satisfied.”
The Flames will face Egypt in Cairo and at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe between March 20 and 28.
Flames line up: Brighton Munthali (Clever Nkungula) Stanley Sanudi, Lawrence Chaziya, Miracle Gabeya, Dan Chimbalanga, Micium Mhone, Charles Petro, Chimwemwe Idana (Gilbert Chirwa), Alick Lungu, Christopher Kumwembe (Chiukepo Msowoya, Gaddie Chirwa), Mphatso Kamanga (Stein Dave)