Flames assistant coaches Ernest ‘Wire’ Mtawali and Patrick ‘General’ Mabedi have said it is important that the team should build on their significant 1-0 win over Namibia’s Brave Warriors.
The Flames ended Namibia’s remarkable run with a 1-0 win away in Windhoek on Saturday evening to go joint top of Group F with Nigeria in the 2014 Africa World Cup qualifiers on five points.
However, the African champions remain at the top courtesy of superior aggregate.
But Mtawali and Mabedi, who took charge of the team in the absence of their boss Eddington Ng’onamo, said they should not lose focus as there are three more games to play. Ng’onamo lost his son just a day before the match
Said Mtawali in a telephone interview from Windhoek: “The battle is still on because Nigeria stand in our way. Had Kenya held on to their 1-0 win, then we could have been top of the group. Nevertheless, we are determined to fight our own battle.
“We still have three more games to play so too the other teams and anything can happen. If anything, the win should act as a motivating factor going forward. It will be costly for us to lose focus at this stage.”
He also reiterated that the win was a special dedication to Ng’onamo.
“At least, it will give our coach some solace because he was very much part of this mission and he deserves the credit just like the entire team,” said Mtawali.
Mabedi echoed Mtawali’s views.
“Now we need to switch focus and prepare for the forthcoming games because the battle is still on.
“Of course, we have two games to play at home [against Namibia and Kenya] as well as an away game against Nigeria, but we need to remain focused because anything can happen,” said Mabedi.
The duo praised the entire team for having played their part in the triumph.
“All the players gave their all. Of course, we might have missed a couple of close chances, but that is part of the game.
“Considering that we were playing away against a side that we had not beaten before, it was never going to be easy and the boys need special praise,” said Mabedi who also thanked Malawians based in Namibia for their support.
One of the Brave Warriors key players, Thai-based forward Lazarus Kaimbi said the Flames deserved to win.
“It was a bad game for us. Malawi were a far much better side and deserved to win,” Kaimbi told Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) in an interview after the game.
Substitute Nnamdi Oduamadi scored three minutes into stoppage time for Nigeria to cancel Francis Kahata’s first-half free-kick for Kenya.
It was the second draw in three games in World Cup qualifying for the Super Eagles who have five points.