The Flames are out of contention for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualification following their 3-0 loss to Zimbabwe’s Warriors.
Malawi still anchor Group L of the qualifiers with two points from five games and are yet to register a win.
Coach Ernest Mtawali said they would now shift their focus to the Cosafa Castle Cup which kicks off this weekend.
“It is a very disappointing result, our campaign to qualify for Gabon 2016 is over, but the result is not a true reflection of the game. We started well [but] we made two mistakes and got punished.
“In the second half, we also started well but we failed to make good use of the chances we created. I will not blame anyone though and I take full responsibility.
“I apologise to Malawians, we are very sorry but we will do our best to win the Cosafa Cup. It’s not the end of the world,” he said.
Zimbabwe took the lead in the 16th minute through a penalty kick awarded after a dangerously advancing Musona was fouled by Flames ‘keeper Charles Swini.
Musona made no mistake from the spot-kick.
The only chance for the Flames in this half came through a freekick, which was well-curled by midfielder Joseph Kamwendo—the most outstanding player for the Flames—but sadly there was no one to provide the final flourish and relief was the prevalent emotion around the stadium.
In the 37th minute, it was Khama Billiat’s turn to score after being put through by Onismor Bhasera to make it 2-0.
Mtawali made three changes in the course of the match, taking our John ‘CJ’ Banda for Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango and then Wonder Jeremani for Micium Mhone and Mhone was substituted for Muhammad Sulumba, but the Flames could not just find the formula to get past the Warriors.
And Cuthbert Malajila, who was thrown in as a substitute, hammered the final nail on the coffin in the 88th minute when he headed home a cross from Musona.
Meanwhile, the Flames flew to Namibia’s capital Windhoek on Monday for the Cosafa tournament. They are supposed to face Namibia in a friendly match on Wednesday.
Flames line-up: Swini, Stanley Sanudi, Francis Mlimbika, John Lanjesi, Harry Nyirenda, Kamwendo, Jeremani (Mhone) (Sulumba), Banda (Gabadinho), Rafique Namwera, Chiukepo Msowoya, Peter Wadabwa.