On Sunday morning, I visited my tyre-fitter friend Gama near Total Filling Station in Kanjedza Township where he operates from. He is always a source of comfort whenever my beloved Flames falter and as we comforted each other after the 2-0 loss to Algeria the previous afternoon, suddenly he came up with a funny suggestion.
“Man, kodi simungalembe mu nyuzi yanu ija kuti makochi amuyese mtsikana wachinya zigoli sate chakuti kwa azungu uja [Tabitha Chawinga]? Akhoza kupanga zinthu osati mbola tikuwona zija [Hey, can’t you write an article in your newspaper and suggest to the coaches to consider calling Europe-based female professional footballer Tabitha Chawinga who has scored more than 30 goals, she can do much better than what we are seeing in the Flames].
He turned a deaf ear to my attempts to convince him that his suggestion was practically impossible and insisted that FAM can find other means to include the girl genius whether by hook or crook because, according to him, she is the solution to the Flames’ scoring woes, saying: “ndi m’mene zilili muja zoti tingapange approvendakaika. I realised he meant to say ‘improve.’
And when you consider the plethora of chances that Flames created and sadly failed to convert, then you come to appreciate Gama’s point, faulty as it may be. The currency of football is about scoring goals and that the Desert Foxes scored two goals from the three average chances they created, confirmed the gulf in class and stature between two teams. We had at least five good chances, but failed to convert even one.
There were times when Flames passing game was sweet to the eye, they playedwalilelile or dolola like Tsokankanansi Primary School team, but perhaps the Flames ought to have known this was not Mayor’s Trophy where you play to the crowd.This was the continental showpiece that is the Africa Cup of Nations. Yes, there are teams such as Surestream Academy who perfect flowery football with goals and perhaps Young Chimodzi and his charges need to spare a day or two to learn one or two things from the academy children in Chilomoni Township.
And then I saw our goalkeeper attempting to save a ball as if akukupa ngumbi, and the result was that bizarre second goal that went in between his legs. Maybe, tomorrowmight not be the same and we could get a point in Algeria? Just trying to dream in colour. Glory be to God. Uloliwe..uloliwe wayidudula hii…neng’asiza [The train is pushing].