Flames coach Meck Mwase says his charges will this afternoon fight tooth and nail to beat the Mambas of Mozambique to make up for their laisez faire attitude in their Cosafa Cup Group B opener.
On Friday, the Flames blew away a two-goal lead deep in the second half to settle for a two-all draw against six-time champions Zimbabwe’s Warriors.
The result means Malawi senior national football team must secure victory against Mozambique, whom they have not beaten in their last three encounters, to increase chances of qualifying to the semi-finals as only the top-two teams in their five-team group will make it.
Currently, both sides are tied on a single point at the bottom of the table, but the Flames have a game in hand to Mozambique.
Namibia top the group with three points from one game followed by guest contestants Senegal, who have played two games. Zimbabwe are third on two points from two matches.
He said: “Against Zimbabwe, we did very well with our game-plan as we scored early in both halves to lead 2-0. However, complacency and lack of concentration towards the end cost us the full points.
“This is what we must avoid in our next games. We need to work extra harder to register victories as we have high chances of qualifying to the semis after most teams in our group dropped points.”
Nevertheless, he admitted that it will not be an easy road to victory against Mozambique, considering that the two sides have almost a balanced record against each other.
In their last five, each side won once before settling for draws in their last three encounters. The neighbours last met in Cosafa encounter in 2019, which ended one-all.
In all competitions, Malawi and Mozambique have met 28 times since 1981 with the Flames winning nine times, losing 10 times and drawing nine times.
Both teams have not won the tournament and their best chance was finishing as runners-up.
The only statistical advantage that the Flames have is probably the fact that they have won two of their last five games against other teams while Mozambique are yet to register a win, having lost four and drawn once.
Mozambique’s Portuguese coach Horácio Gonçalves is also determined to get a win and impress his employers.
After the coach signed a two-year contract with The Mambas in April this year, the Mozambican football federation challenged him to, among other things, “produce a better image in Cosafa tournament”.
After losing 1-0 to Senegal in their opening match on Friday, Gonçalves hopes to make amends with his charges that include Estevao Novela and Francisco Simbine.
On the other hand, Mwase believes the likes of Khuda Muyaba and Schumacher Kuwali will maintain their scoring form.
The game is the third Cosafa Cup meeting between the outfits in the last six editions of the tournament.
A quarter-final tie in 2015 in which Mozambique won on penalties precede a group-stage contest four years after which ended all square.