Published on October 13th, 2015 | by lawilink


Tanzania put out the Flames !

John Banda’s thrilling goal was not enough to save the Flames from the persistent jaws of Tanzania’s Taifa Stars.

The Flames won the day but failed to qualify for the next round as one goal was not enough to overturn the two goal deficit conceded in Dar es salam on Wednesday.

In a pulsating encounter played at the giant Kamuzu Stadium the youthful Malawi side started the match as rabbits caught in headlights and the Taifa stars could have capitalized as early as in the first minute. A swift passing move involving Thomas Ulimwengu, Mrisho Ngasa and Hadji Ngwasi resulted in Ulimwengu going one on one with Malawi goalie Simplex Nthala who was equal to the challenge. The game turned heads and the Flames could have opens the floodgates as a Chiukepo Msowoya effort narrowly missing target.

Sensing danger and the magnitude of the task at hand the Flames played quick counter attacks which unsettled and troubled the visitors defence and earned the Flames alot of free kicks which were never utilized. The Taifa stars employed delaying tactics from the first whistle knowing that they had a two goal advantage from the first leg.

The probable man of the match, Christopher John Banda’s clever and aggressive moves saw the Tanzanians conceding set pieces. Only in the first half the Flames earned a good number of free kicks in deeply dangerous positions but through the Bidvest Wits based winger Gerald Phiri saw them all squandered.

The well composed Flames played a fantastic game controlling both the possession and leading the attacking through the sharp services of lethal and accelerating aggressive services of Shumacher Kuwali and Chiukepo Nsowoya who lacked the support from the  wingers as  Mecium Mhone and Gerrald Phiri had a bad day. Nevertheless Malawians’ enjoyed a passing game as Chimango Kaira and the prolific John Banda connected the defence and the attack in style and composure.

The Flames broke the deadlock in the 41st minute as Chiukepo Msowoya dribbled past three Tanzania defenders and laid the ball to John Banda who controlled before curling a wonderful shot into the top left corner. The goal acted as fuel to the Flames who were now razing the Taifa stars’ and another John Banda shot just missed the target by a whisker and the teams went into recess with the Flames leading.

In the second half the Taifa stars sensing danger and knowing that the hosts were to throw anything at them, they played a slow game absorbing the pressure and hitting on the counter. But this did not pay dividends as they were pinned in their own half as the Flames threw caution to the wind and attacked in numbers. The changes made by coach Enerst Mtawali, bringing in Isaac Kaliati for Gerald Phiri Jr, Gabadinho Mhango for Micium Mhone and later Robbin Ngalande for Miracle Gabeya were a sign that the Flames were in dire need of a second goal. The Taifa Stars put out the fire and the Flames were further frustrated by the visitors’ delaying tactics. John Banda had a couple of shots either blocked or wide off target and the Tanzanians jubilated as the Angolan refeere Helder Martins De Carvalho blew the final whistle marking the end of the match.

The win ironically left the Flames supporters arms around their helpless heads grieving as the first half lead turned from a blessing into a torment that pricked sharply and painfully in their warm hearts. The result means the Tanzanians will play Algeria in the fourth round of 2018 World cup qualifiers

To survive the mammoth frustrations Malawians have to forget of the World Cup as they will have to try again in 2022 edition to be played in Qatar. All FAM arrangements to fly the team to Russia for the next World Cup edition are cancelled.

Story Co-written by:
Tana Mwalwimba
Precious Chilundu.
Lawilink sports writers.


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