Malawi Under 17 national team will on Friday night face South Africa in a decisive semifinal of the TotalEnergies U17 AFCON Algeria 2023| COSAFA Qualifiers whose winner will book a ticket to the finals in Algeria.
The Junior Flames are seeking for their first AFCON qualification in 13 years having last appeared at the continental tournament in 2009.
Malawi qualified for the semifinals as group A winners having registered a 2-all draw against Botswana in their first match and a 2-1 win against Namibia in the second and last group stage match.
South Africa on the other hand finished as group B runners up following a 11-0 win over Seychelles and a 1-0-win over Mozambique. But they lost 1-0 to group B winners Zambia.
Coach Deklerk Msakakuona says his boys are ready for this crunch match as their goal is to qualify for AFCON.
“It’s a tough game but the boys are prepared just like all the other games that we have played.
“In the two group stage games, the boys played well but failed to make use of the chances that we got so we have been working on finishing in our sessions. We also had a problem in taking set plays so we have told them to be composed when taking the set pieces and when they are in front of the goal. We have no doubt that we will carry the day and book a ricket to Algeria,” said Msakakuona.
The two sides played to a 2-all draw in their previous encounter during the 2020 COSAFA U17 Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
Earlier in the evening, Zambia will face Botswana in the first semifinal.