Flames head of technical panel Mario Marian Marinica says technical and tactical discipline will be key when they face Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nation (Afcon) round of 16.
The Flames booked the spot for the first time after finishing group matches as one of the best third-placed teams.
But soccer analysts have warned the Flames to avoid mistakes against the Atlas Lions.
In an interview from Cameroon, Marinica said he was confident that Malawi can overcome the North Africans.
He said: “I believe in the players and the members of the technical panel I am working with. We know Morocco is another big team just like Senegal. But if we maintain our discipline and the fighting spirit, we can overcome them.”
The Romanian said he never doubted the prospect of Malawi making it to the knockout stages.
He said: “Obviously, when I took up the job I knew Malawi are a great team capable of making it this far. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have taken the job. I only talked about the fans having too much expectation.”
On the team’s performance, Marinica said he was glad that his philosophy of ‘thinking fast’, ‘acting fast’ and ‘moving fast’ on the pitch was bearing fruits.
But the Flames come against the Atlas Lions, who finished unbeaten in Group C with seven points.
They registered a 1-0 victory over Ghana in their opening match, 2-0 win over Comoros in their second match and tied 2-2 with Gabon in the last one.
The Flames, on the other hand, lost 1-0 to Guinea in the opening match and went on to beat Zimbabwe 2-1 before holding Africa top ranked Senegal to a goalless draw.
The two sides have met 10 times since 1985.
The North Africans won six of the matches while the Flames have won once.
Three encounters ended in draws.
The last time the two sides clashed was in 2019 when Malawi held Morocco 0-0 at Bingu National Stadium in an Afcon tie.
Soccer analyst David Kanyenda said the Flames should avoid mistakes in their half.
He said: “We should avoid conceding free-kicks in our own final third.
Senegal’s two goal attempts came from set pieces which we must also defend better. And we must show maturity and seriousness when taking free kicks. I thought we haven’t fully exploited dead ball situations.”
He also warned about over relying on Frank Gabadinho Mhango to score.
“Right now all our opponents know that Francisco Madinga and Gaba are lethal. Therefore,they will continue to be tightly marked.Other players from midfield should take the burden off these two and try to win us games too.
“Also let’s make subs early enough. In the Senegal game our play dramatically improved with the introduction of Mbulu and Chester.”
On his part another analyst Kelvin Moyo advised Malawi to avoid individual mistakes.
He said: “We need to limit individual mistakes against them. Morocco can hurt you if you make technical errors. Against Zimbabwe and Guinea, we failed to defend as a unit.
“We improved against Senegal where we had little possession. But we were a threat on the counter in all the three games. My worry is on not taking our chances. That is one area we need to improve . ”
Just like Senegal, Morocco boasts of players from top leagues.