Malawi under-20 national football team are top of Group C at the Cosafa Under-20 Championship following a 2-0 victory over South Africa’s Amajita at Somhlolo Stadium in eSwatini.
The Junior Flames top the group with three pints following Comoros’ narrow 1-0 victory over Namibia in the other fixture.
In the group’s opening match, South Africa’s Amajita against a Malawian side of novices were the better side in then opening minutes of the match.
They should have taken the lead in the 18th minute but Gontse Manya fired wide.
But against the run of play, Malawi took the lead in the 25th minute when Rumphi Mighty Wanderers striker Vincent Mkandawire headed in from a corner rebound.
South Africa pressed for an equaliser which they failed to get when Manya saw his shot outside the box parried away to safety by the alert Malawi ‘keeper Austin Chirambo.
After taking all the pressure from South Africa the Junior Flames took the game to Amajita in the seocnd stanza.
Chikumbutso Salima almost doubled the lead, but his shot was saved by Aden Dreyer
Yet Amajita did not just lie down. They kept on going forward and Mduduzi Tshabalala saw his effort also pawed by Chirambo.
The South Afrocans despedate search for an equaliser was their downfall as Malawi, simply utilised their poor attacks and hit them on the ccounter.
Malawi coach Patrick Mabedi made three substitutions to add more fire power.
Bright Ntondagowa replaced Frank Mahowa while Emmanuel Saviel replaced Mkandawire.
Andrew Lameck was introduced for Chisomo Chawanda.
Just a minute after the changes, Malawi doubled the lead in the 66th minute when captain Chifundo Mphasi connected a cross by Salima.
South Africa failed to reduce the lead a minute later when Tshabalala’s spot kick was saved by Chirambo.
Later, the other group C game saw Comoros’ Glenn Younousse score the lone goal after he found the back of the net with a well taken strike.
Malawi continue their campaign on Monday against Comoros before they finished the group stage against Namibia on Wednesday.
The tournament’s finalists will qualify for the TotalEnergies Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier to held in Egypt early next year.
The Under-20 Afcon, is in turn, the qualification route for the 2023 Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.
Malawi first XI: Austin Chirambo, Chimwemwe Nkhoma, Chisomo Chawanda (Andrew Lameck 66′), Chikumbutso Salima, Lloyd Aaron, Vincent Mkandawire (Emmanuel Saviel 66′), Chifundo Mphasi, Frank Mahowa (Bright Mtondagowa 66′), Chrispine Mapemba (Robert Saizi 52′), Kelvin Banda, Happy Mphepo.