Malawi Under 1`7 national team coach Declerk Msakakuwona says his charges should be praised for winning the COSAFA Under 17 Championship bronze medal considering that most of them were playing international football for the first time.
The Junior Flames beat Eswatini 4-0 on Tuesday evening in the match for third place at the just ended COSAFA tournament.
Masambiro Kalua claimed a hattrick in the match while Hollyce Chuzu scored Malawi’s fourth goal.
Malawi had earlier on Tuesday lost 3-1 Zambia in the Semifinals.
Speaking on the tournament, Msakakuona said he is happy with the boys fighting spirit.
“The boys had a good tournament. They showed their talent and enjoyed every game at the tournament. Yes we came to win gold but learning is part of the process and the boys have learnt a lot of lessons which we hope will help them improve come next tournament. We only had 17 players as some were ruled out after the MRI tests but we told the boys to work hard and bring something for Malawians and they have managed to do it.
“We need to have a good plan for the boys through regular camping so that they coordinate for them to play games and win, otherwise we have assembled a very good team of talented players,” said Msakakuona.
In the four games that the team played at the tournament, the junior flames registered two losses, one win and one draw scoring eight goals and conceding eight goals.
The last time the junior Flames won bronze was in 2017 championship when they defeated South Africa 2-1 in the third place play offs.