Ten man Flames on Wednesday cruised to the quarter-finals of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup after trouncing Djibouti 3-0 in a Group C tussle in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
The Flames—who top the group with six points —are through to the quarter-finals even before their last match against South Sudan tomorrow.
Striker Schumacher Kuwali was red-carded in the first half, but goals from Gerald Phiri Jnr, John Banda and captain Chiukepo Msowoya, his second at the tournament, were enough to seal the progression.
The victory, albeit against minnows, stretched the Ernest Mtawali’s winning string after labouring to a 2-1 win over Sudan in their opener on Monday.
Unlike against Sudan, Djibouti offered little resistance; they will most probably feel honoured not to concede more like in the 8-1 baptism during the 2010 joint Africa Cup and World Cup qualifier.
Mtawali started the same line-up that faced Sudan with youthful Miracle Gabeya and John Lanjesi paired in central defence to shield goalkeeper Simplex Nthala while Yamikani Fodya and Stanley Sanudi operated as left-back and right-back respectively.
John Banda, Phiri, Chimango Kayira and Dalitso Sailesi retained their midfield roles while Msowoya and Kuwali teamed upfront.
The squad, once again, paid the coach for his faith when Phiri netted from the penalty spot after the half -hour mark before Banda extended the lead five minutes later.
Later Kuwali received marching orders after fouling an opponent.
On the 75th minute, Msowoya sealed the victory, which consequently eliminated Djibouti from the tournament. It was game over and the Flames were to the last eight. n