The Flames say they are determined to haul themselves out of the mire this afternoon and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Cosafa Cup after three successive failed attempts.
Buoyed by their 3-0 win over minnows Seychelles in their opening Group B qualifier on Sunday, the Flames face Namibia’s Brave Warriors this afternoon at the King Zwelethini Stadium in Umlazi, Durban in their second game.
A win against the Namibians, who have sent their second string side, could give the Flames a spring in their step as they seek their first quarter-final qualification since 2015.
However, Flames coach Meke Mwase was cautious in an interview yesterday, saying his charges will have to give out something extra than they did against the Pirates of Seychelles if they are to achieve that.
“If we want to progress to the quarter-finals, then we must win this game.
“Regardless that they [Namibia] have not brought their full strength-squad, they are a good side. We watched them yesterday [Sunday] against Mozambique and we should expect a tough encounter.
“Nevertheless, we will try to come up with the right approach for them,” he said.
The Flames sit at the summit of the table courtesy of a better goal aggregate as they are tied on three points with Namibia, who also won their opening match against the Mambas 2-1.
Striker Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango, who scored a goal and provided an assist against Seychelles, said the victory has boosted their confidence.
“It had been a while since we last won a match. So, yes, the win has boosted the team’s morale and we are hoping to continue from where we stopped.
“Of course, Seychelles cannot be compared to Namibia, but if we approach the game with the same attitude as we did in the first match, then we can get a good result,” said the South Africa-based forward.
Brave Warriors assistant coach, Collin Benjamin, who is in charge of the local-based players’ squad, was quoted by www.nfa.org.na as having said that playing a strong side such as Malawi will further help his side to prepare for the 2020 Championship of African Nations (Chan) qualifiers against Comoros Island.
He will bank his hopes on Joslyn Kamatuka and Absalom Iimbondi who scored a goal apiece against Mozambique.
“We have brought a predominantly inexperienced squad for exposure as the main team is busy preparing for the  Africa Cup of Nations tournament
“Malawi are top now after their three goals win and we will plan accordingly and try our best to get a good result. We don’t want to lose and a win will be a bonus for us.
“We have young players that need to play more and this game is very important for them to come to the party again. We will surely make one or two changes to give the youngsters chance to shine,” Benjamin was quoted as having said.
The Flames final Group B game will be on Thursday against Mozambique. The winners of Group B will advance to the quarter-finals where Zambia awaits on June 2.