After getting their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a victory over Mozambique, can Malawi continue and record good results?
With continental heavyweights Cameroon and Ivory Coast stationed in Malawi’s World Cup qualifying group, the odds are heavy against the Flames to reach the World Cup, but this series gives the team the opportunity to compete against some of the best nations in football. in Africa.
The Malawian fans are very realistic and know that the team is very unlikely to qualify for Qatar. It’s fair to say that few Malawians will put any money on the Flames to qualify for the Mundial.
Bookies from all over the world, whether in Australia, India or betting sites in Kenya have Malawi as the rank underdog in the race for Qatar 2022.
That said, fans want to see a fight from the team and an improvement over previous performances.
Prior to this victory over Mozambique, Malawi had not won any of their previous six international matches.
They were beaten by Cameroon in their opening game of the qualifying series, and before that, had no impact in the COSAFA Cup. They left that tournament winless, drawing two and losing two of their four round robin games at the event.
Therefore, confidence was not really high before the game against Mozambique. To make matters worse, the Flames were unable to play in front of their home fans after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ruled that the Bingu National Stadium was unfit to host the qualifying match.
Instead, the match was moved to South Africa.
Mozambique entered the game with a commendable draw against Cote d’Ivoire and were undefeated in seven international matches.
The “visitors” also enjoyed a good record against Malawi, taking five wins and drawing two of the previous eight matches between the two teams.
Malawi defied all of these stats to sign up a vital 1-0 victory over the Mozambicans. There was an element of luck in the game-winning goal, with Richard Mbulu taking advantage of comedic confusion in the visiting defense, but the Flames were good value for their victory. They largely controlled the game and created the best openings.
The victory over Mozambique was Malawi’s first since defeating Uganda in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March. Significantly, this victory against Uganda confirmed the Flames’ place in CAN 2022 in Cameroon.
This will be Malawi’s first Nations Cup appearance in eleven years; and they were drawn into Group B alongside Senegal, Guinea and Zimbabwe.
With the top two and four of the six third-ranked teams advancing to the round of 16 in Cameroon, the opportunity presents itself in Malawi.
That’s why they have to make sure they perform well in the World Cup qualifiers.
Even if they end up not making it to Qatar, they are expected to build up their momentum and confidence ahead of next year’s CAN, where they will have a more realistic chance to make a significant impact.