The Malawi Beach Soccer team defied odds to win 7-3 on their maiden game played against Mauritius in Seychelles yesterday morning.
The team, according to leader of delegation James Mwenda, showed determination and demonstrated that they are serious contenders during the three-day tournament, which was being played at Victoria Arena.
The team recovered from a setback they suffered on Wednesday when two players collapsed to put up a winning display.
They were first to score through Vanacio Malunga. He was on the score-sheet again minutes later to send panic in the Mauritius camp.
The Stereo Gondwe-led boys dictated events in the field of play for a better part of the first and second quarters before Mauritius picked up to show that they were not just passengers at the tournament and pulled level.
Goalkeeper and captain Bothwell Saka showed determination in the tournament by saving a penalty in a classy catlike save.
“The way the boys played you cannot believe, it was their first competitive match. The training has paid off. We just need not to relax,” said a relieved Gondwe in an interview from Seychelles.
Both team manager Davis Sado and Mwenda expressed optimism about bringing the trophy home.
“With this win, there is now self-belief in the team. We can do it if we maintain our cool. It is not going to be easy, but we have shown that we have the talent and the technical expertise to compete against the best,” said Mwenda.