The Flames on Saturday qualified for the quarter-finals of the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup with a 2-0 win over Zanzibar in Ugandaâ€™s capital Kampala.
After a sterile performance in the first two games, Flames coach Kinnah Phiri called on his charges to lift themselves into overdrive in the quest for quarter-final qualification and they got the much-needed result.
The Flames, who finished as runners-up to Rwandaâ€™s Amabvubi, will face Kenyaâ€™s Harambee Stars in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
According to team leader James Mwenda, winger Ndaziona Chatsalira drew first blood for the Flames barely five minutes into the game with a terrific shot before burly forward Chiukepo Msowoya added the second moments later from the penalty spot.
It was Chiukepoâ€™s third goal at the tournament having claimed a brace in the 3-2 win over Eritreaâ€™s red Sea Boys.
According to Mwenda, the penalty was awarded after a dangerously advancing Rodrick Gonani was fouled in the box. Gonani was later on taken off stage after suffering another injury and was replaced by Green Harawa.
But Harawa was again substituted for Innocent Bokosi in the second half due to poor performance.
Kinnah and Mwenda hailed the Flames performance after the game.
Said Kinnah: â€œOf course the boys were disturbed with the negative things that were being said there at home, but that is part of life. I salute the players for giving out their best this afternoon.
â€œWhat I can say is that when you lose a game, it does not mean the end of everything and the boys displayed strong character by putting everything aside to win this game. I thank Malawians who have been behind us.â€
On his part, Mwenda also hailed the Flames for what he described as a five-star display.
â€œIt should also be noted that Zanzibar were not a walkover, they gave us a good run especially in the second half, but our boys held on to their nerves,â€ said Mwenda.
He also cited blossoming midfielder Mecium Mhone as the outstanding player for the Flames.
In another Group C match, Rwanda edged Eritrea 1-0 to finish at the top. In another game Tanzania whipped Somalia 7-0.
Quarter-final games are as follows: Rwanda vs Tanzania, Uganda vs Ethiopia,Â Burundi vs Zanzibar, Kenya vs Malawi.
Flames line-up: Charles Swini, Steve Chagoma, Foster Namwela, John Lanjesi, Moses Chavula (C), Mhone (Bernard), Joseph Kamwendo, Chimango Kayira, Chatsalira, Chiukepo, Gonani (Green Harawa), (Innocent Bokosi).