Malawi Under-17 national football team yesterday stormed into the 2016 Under-17 Cosafa Championship semi-finals after whitewashing Kenya 5-0 in Port Louis, Mauritius.
After beating Madagascar 2-1 in the opening match and losing 3-0 loss to Zambia in the second game, the Junior Flames needed a draw to sail through to the semi-finals as Group B runners-up alongside leaders Zambia.
But they did not leave anything to chance as they punished the sloppy Young Harambee Stars five times.
Attacking midfielder Peter Banda was the hero of the day as he scored a hat-trick while defender Francisco Madinga and Frank Chizuze grab a goal each.
Chizuze opened the floodgates in the 19th minute after heading from Maginga’s cross for Malawi to lead 1-0 at half time.
Banda doubled the lead just after half-time beating two defenders before dribbling past Kenya goalkeeper George Ouma in the 52nd minute.
In the 54th minute Kenyan’s Eric Muriithi was denied as his effort was ruled offside.
Banda scored his second five minutes later before defender Madinga added his name to the list of scorers in the 64th minute.
In 89th minute Banda completed a hat trick to send Malawi through to the semi-finals on a high note.
Malawi must also await their semi-final opponents as Group A comes to a head on Wednesday.
South Africa need just a point against hosts Mauritius to top the pool, but defeat by a heavy margin could see them eliminated if Namibia also beat Seychelles.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda applauded the team’s fighting spirit.
However, analyst Charles Nyirenda observed that such a promising side disbands after returning from the tournament which defeats the whole purpose of having a junior national team.
“We had other players from such Under-17 teams where are they now?” Nyirenda wondered.
Malawi XI: Hastings Banda, Lexpart Sumaili, Henry Chiwaya, Chimango Kalinga, Hadji Wali, Raphael Banda, Peter Banda, Frank Chizuze, Francisco Madinga, Moses Chipanda, Innocent Shema.
Kenya XI: George Ouma, Thomas Muya, Daniel Wambua, Clinton Machaka, John Njuguna, Zidane Karume, Kenneth Karungari, Muthoka Mulei, Prince Boit, Eric Muriithi, Brian Omutanyi. n