Analysts say they see light at the end of the tunnel for Malawi national football team, the Flames.
But the analysts say the Flames still need to perfect finishing prowess which has seen the team fail to score despite enjoying enviable ball possession and creating scoring opportunities.
Malawi have failed to score in four consecutive matches against Morocco and Cameroon (twice) in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as well as a friendly match against Kenya.
The Flames have scored the least goals (one) in the group from Gerald Phiri Junior’s set-piece in their 1-0 win over Comoros last year.
But soccer analyst David Kanyenda, who is former Be Forward Wanderers general secretary, said despite the goal-drought Malawi’s performance promises a brighter future.
“Malawi are without a goal after playing over four and a half hours of football—three consecutive matches against Morocco [once] and Cameroon [twice]—but the huge performances against the star studded Indomitable Lions [on Tuesday] left the fans bullish about the future,” he said.
On his part, soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda felt that despite the draw against Cameroon, the goal-drought was a bad omen.
“We have to commend the Flames for being very courageous. They battled the African champions all the way and could even have snatched a victory out of it had they been more composed in front of goal.
“But the goal drought in the previous four matches has to be a concern to RVG and entire technical panel,” he said.
Another analyst, George Chiusiwa, felt there was visible progress in the Flames performance.
“Well, it may be that different football eyes looked at different aspects in this game. For me, I am satisfied with the collective performance of the team despite not getting a win. And one could see the players building up play and some coordinated play from the back going forward,” he said.
After the match, RVG said holding Cameroon was the first visible product of his team’s rebuilding exercise.
Said RVG: “Malawi is rebuilding. We have seen the first product of the rebuilding process. We will keep on working. We have a young squad which is very patriotic. The boys did very well. They fought throughout the match. I was also happy with the chemistry that was there with the fans.
“We are also disappointed that we couldn’t score. And that’s a good reaction. You play against Africa champions and you are not happy that you have drawn with them—That’s a good reaction. It shows that you want more. You are not satisfied with the result.”
Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf, while applauding the Flames for a well-fought battle, also attributed his team’s poor showing to playing on an artificial turf.