Flames hold Guinea in last AFCON Qualifier

Malawi National Football Team has wrapped up the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers with a two-all draw against Guinea at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

The hosts took the lead in the 22nd minute through winger Robert Saizi who fired home with his left foot a rebound after Guinea defender blocked forward Lanjesi Nkhoma’s shot.

But after recess the visitors, who won the first leg 1-0, made three substitutions at half-time that changed the complexion of the match.

Seydouba Cisse replaced Morlaye Sylla, Ilaix Moriba came in for Ibrahuna Cisse whereas Saidou Sow came in for Mohamed Ali Camara.

They immediately scored two goals in two minutes after lapses in defence on Malawi.

Aguibou Camara levelled in the 56th minute with a surgical finish from outside the box beating Clever Nkungula who replaced injured Brighton Munthali at half-time.

Substitute Sow then doubled the lead two minutes later pouncing on a rebound after a floated ball hit the post.

In response Flames coach Patrick Mabedi introduced Christopher Kumwembe and Wisdom Mpinganjira in the 68th minute who replaced Nkhoma and Richard Mbulu.

He also took out debutant Tatenda M’balaka and replaced him with Francisco Madinga.

Peter Banda also came in for injured Lloyd Aaron.

Though clear chances were hard to come by in the second-half, Malawi managed to get the equaliser against the run of play with three minutes on the clock, when Lawrence Chaziya headed in a Saizi corner kick.

In the natch, Mabedi packed the midfield in an effort to suffocate the opponents.

In a 3-5-2 formation, the coach deployed first choicer goalkeeper Munthali with three defenders Stanley Sanudi, Denis Chembezi and Chaziya.

Captain John CJ Banda and Aaron partnered in central midfield.

Mabedi handed a debut to M’balaka who played on the left wing while Saizi started on the opposite wing.

Nkhoma played behind strikers Richard Mbulu and Chawanangwa Kaonga.

Following the result, Malawi has finished on third position with five points.

They beat bottom placed Ethiopia at home but draw with them in the second leg.

The Flames lost both home and away to group winners Egypt and away to second placed Guinea to finish with one and, two draws three losses.

Malawi XI

Munthali (Gk) (Nkungula), Sanudi, Chembezi, Chaziya, Aaron (Peter Banda), Banda (C), M’balaka (Madinga), Nkhoma( Mpinganjira) Saizi, Mbulu ( Kumwembe), Kaonga


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