After almost an hour’s break following their arrival in Tanzania yesterday, the Flames held their first training session later in the afternoon as they stepped up preparations for Wednesday’s 2018 Fifa World Cup preliminary qualifier against Taifa Stars.
The 26-member Flames squad, which is being led by Football Association of Malawi (FAM) executive committee member Paul Mzungu, flew out to Tanzania’s capital Dar es Salaam from Kamuzu International Airport at around 7.30am and arrived at about 10.30am.
“After lunch we’ll have a brief rest and then we’ll proceed for our first training session later in the afternoon.
“The better part of it will be loosening up and then we expect to step up the tempo tomorrow when the rest of the foreign-based players join us,” said Flames coach Ernest Mtawali.
Asked about the weather in Tanzania, Mtawali said: “It is very hot, but the conditions are more less like back home. So, we are hoping to acclimatise by Wednesday.”
Mozambique-based duo of midfield workhorse Chimango Kayira and rookie forward Chawanangwa Kawonga have since joined the squad.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda said the Mozambican Mocambola League is now off-season, “and that is why the two players joined the squad here, but Chimango came a bit earlier because of a funeral.”
Nyirenda said midfielder Micium Mhone who plays for Jomo Cosmos in South Africa was also expected to join the squad later yesterday while the rest—captain Limbikani Mzava, Gerald Phiri Jnr, Robert Ng’ambi, Robin Ngalande and Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango—are expected to join the squad today, virtually completing the Flames squad.
Wednesday’s first leg is scheduled to kickoff at 4pm Tanzanian time (3pm local time) at National Stadium while the second leg is slated for Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre this coming Sunday.
The winner will face Algeria’s Desert Fennecs.n