Football Association of Malawi (FAM) says it expects the Flames to reach the semi-finals of the Cosafa Cup.
The Malawi national football team is scheduled to face Madagascar tomorrow in their opening Group B match at in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa.
Their next and final group match will be against Zambia’s Chipolopolo next Tuesday.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu said it is the association’s expectation that the team will rise up to the challenge by upsetting the tables.
He said: “We have gone to the finals before and nothing stops us from doing the same.
“But first things first, let’s go past the group stages first so that the team is not put under pressure. We will need to focus on maximising results of each match that will be played
“We have sent largely a locally based squad to Cosafa to prepare for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations finals with to identify new players that can help us build a strong national team.”
Nyamilandu said they believe the local players will have the hunger to prove a point so that they are not left behind “and that they will be more hungry for success”.
The Flames have never won the regional tournament since its inception 24 years ago, but have been in the final twice in 2002 and 2003.
Coach Meck Mwase said before departure that their target is to reach the semis and, ultimately, the final.
“We have to take a step at a time. So, the target now is to reach the last four,” he said.