Flames legends have thrown their weight behind Kinnah Phiri and his charges as they prepare for their 2013 Afcon decisive match against Ghana on Saturday at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
The Flames are two goals down, but revered former stars Ernest Mtawali and John Maduka and injury-plagued captain Peter Mponda, believe with an element of luck, determination and proper approach, they can upset the tables.
Former national team captain Maduka, who is now team manager for South Africaâ€™s Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Bloemfontein Celtic on Thursday said the Flames should not be intimidated by the Ghanaians who boast of an array of overseas players.
“They beat us 2-0 in the first leg because they had home advantage. With self-belief and determination, I believe the guys can do the same. I think we should not throw around different theories at this stage because this will confuse the team. Whatever game plan the coach has, let us support that,” said Maduka.
Mtawali, who played in the top Argentina and French leagues at the peak of his career, said: ” “Of course, Ghana are a strong team not to be taken lightly, but we should not be intimidated by their overseas stars.
“We have a band of our experienced players who can make a big difference tomorrow in the likes of Joseph Kamwendo, Robert Ngâ€™ambi, Moses [Chavula] and Esau Kanyenda coupled with up-and-coming stars who can also do the job. So, I am urging Malawians to go to the stadium and cheer the boys on,” said Mtawali who works as a scout for another PSL side Mamelodi Sundowns.
On his part, Mponda said: “The guys have a big heart and if they can rise to the occasion and take the game to Ghana, then I have absolutely no reason to doubt their abilities. We can do it. We have the arsenal, but the critical point will be the approach and strategy.”
Mponda also said the technical team should do what is best under the circumstances to get the results that should propel them to their third Africa Cup of Nations finals.
“This is a big game for us because we know what a positive result would mean for the nation,” he said.