The Flames’ body language after yet another failed attempt at the Cosafa Cup yesterday told the whole story about a battalion of troops that had let their nation down big time.
Malawi’s 20th attempt for the regional showpiece title fell by the wayside after playing out a one-all draw against Namibia’s Brave Warriors in a contest that failed to stir the passions at Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
With the draw, Malawi has two points ahead of their last game against Senegal this afternoon.
The West Africans moved to second position with six points after beating Zimbabwe 2-1 yesterday.
Even if Malawi beat Senegal in their last Group B game today, the Flames will finish with five points, which is not enough to dislodge group leaders Namibia and Senegal.
After a 2-0 loss to Mozambique, Flames coach Meck Mwase made some changes to the starting line-up, including resting first-choice goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe who let in four goals in two matches, for William Thole.
Silver Strikers duo of forward Maxwell Gasten Phodo and defender Nixson Mwase also made their debuts after being handed starting berths.
Phodo partnered Khuda Muyaba upfront while Mwase took up Nixon Nyasulu’s centre back role.
Midfielder Tawonga Chimodzi was also given a place in the starting line-up in place of suspended Chikoti Chirwa.
On the other hand, Mozambique-based Ndaziona Chatsalira took up the right wing position replacing Schumacher Kuwali who shifted to the left wing to previously given to Vitumbuko Kumwenda in the last two matches.
In a match monitored on Cosafa Television, the first half did not have much to show for as both sides tried to play it safe with Malawi fairy enjoying control of the midfield through experienced Chimodzi’s craftiness.
However, the Namibians came from the half time with better ideas and surged ahead in the 53rd minute through Elmo Kambindu with a left-footed strike.
But Malawi equalised in the 74th minute through substitute Micium Mhone who replaced Phodo.
The second half ended with Malawi pressing for a winning goal, but it never came as the Namibian defence neutralised any threat.
Namibia are now through to the semi-finals while Senegal and Zimbabwe will battle it out for the second slot from Group B.
In post match interview, Mwase seemed oblivious of what the draw meant to his campaign at the regional tournament.
He said: “It was a much more improved game today. It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t wrap it up. It was a must win game for us.
“We needed to get three points, but they were first to score. Though we equalised, we couldn’t score another one to win it.”