The Flames anchor Group A of the 2017 edition of the Cosafa Castle Cup as Mauritius—whom they face this afternoon—have a better goal difference following their 0-1 loss to Angola on Sunday.
Malawi set out their campaign on a poor note after going down 0-2 to guest participants Tanzania’s Taifa Stars at Moruleng Stadium in South Africa’s North West province.
Tanzania, who are tied on three points with Angola’s Palancas Negras, lead the group on goal difference.
The Flames, therefore, need to win today’s encounter against Club M to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) yesterday said he is hoping to see an improvement in performance.
“We lacked confidence [against Tanzania], there were lots of back passes which gave the opponents a chance to attack more.
“This is not the Malawi we want to see, we hope to see an improvement tomorrow [today],” said RVG.
And while acknowledging that the Flames have a tall order in their quest to reach the last eight, RVG insisted that the mission is not beyond the realms of possibility.
“But as I said, it will depend on our approach. If we play according to plan, then we could salvage something.”
In Sunday’s match, the Flames laboured fruitlessly with their back passes which saw the East Africans forcing them into rearguard action for the better part of the first half.
They were horribly and repeatedly fragile going forward, moving sluggishly to counter the pacy and inventive Taifa Stars.
Dalitso Sailesi and Yamikani Chester, who were outstanding for the Flames on Sunday with their cultured distribution and assurance in possession, could make a difference this afternoon.
On the other hand, Club M, who just like the Flames have never won the regional showpiece, will bank their hopes on creative midfielder Kevin Perticots who should be aided by the combative promptings of Emmanuel Vincent-Jean.
The two teams last met at the same tournament last year and the Flames won 1-0.
The winner of the group will face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the quarter-finals. n