Malawi national beach soccer team’s campaign to win the 2019 Dar es Salaam Copa Beach Soccer Tournament at Coco Beach in Tanzania suffered a blow on Christmas Eve.
They narrowly lost 9-8 to Seychelles, a day after going down 7-5 to Burundi in their opening match, to be the only team without a point in the round-robin contest that will see a side with more points taking the ultimate glory.
At press time, Burundi was at the summit of the five-nation competition with six points from two wins and a loss while Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda had five, three and a point, respectively.
In a match monitored on Copa Beach Soccer website, www.fufa.co.ug, the Malawi team put up a gallant fight on Tuesday only that their opponents were equally up to the challenge as it had to take extra time to identify the winner after they settled for a seven-all tie in regulation time.
In the three additional minutes, Malawi scored once while Seychelles notched two.
Sandram Saddi and James Chikoka’s hat-tricks plus strikes by Vanancio Malunga and Isaac Kajamu were not enough to save Malawi from the jaws of defeat at the hands of the determined Seychellois, who had their captain Hansel Coeur De Lion planting in five goals.
Yesterday, Malawi was expected to take on hosts Tanzania, who won the title in the previous two editions, before they face Uganda in their final match today.
“We tried our best to pluck a win in our second match but luck was not on our side. However, it has so far been a wonderful experience competing in this event,” said beach soccer national team coach Stereo Gondwe.
On his part, Saddi said although there is little chance of lifting the trophy, they will work on their weaknesses to win their remaining matches.
“It would be an embarrassment to the nation if we finish our games without plucking a single point. Therefore, we will fight on,” he said.