It’s swim-or-sink. Malawi Under-20 national football team coach Peter Mponda says this afternoon’s Cosafa Under-20 Championship Group A match against hosts Zambia in Lusaka, is a must-win encounter.
The odds appear stacked against Malawi, having fluffed an opportunity to tie with the hosts on points when they were held to a two-all draw by Botswana on Saturday.
Malawi are second in the four-team group with four points from two matches, two points behind Zambia, who have a 100 percent record so far, having won both their opening games.
Botswana, who are third with a point, face group anchors Comoros in the other Group A match earlier on today. Comoros have no point.
Only the winners from all the three groups plus the best runner-up will take wing to the semi-finals, a situation that appears a tall order for Mponda and his charges.
“Tomorrow’s [today] game is a big one, everyone knows that it is a must-win.
“We have to take the game to them [Zambia], we need to pressurise them right from the start…. It will be a high intensity match. We have nothing to lose,” he said.
Malawi captain HadjiWali said they will fight their lungs out to chalk a win.
“We messed it up by giving away a lead against Botswana and now we are in a difficult situation. But we will fight to redeem ourselves,” he said from Lusaka yesterday.