Junior Flames on Friday saved the best for last as they scored late to secure a 1-0 victory against Comoros in their Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championship Group B opener at Wolfson Stadium in South Africa.
Yamikani Mologeni was the hero of the day, scoring in the dying seconds of the encounter to spare the blushes of the Malawi Under-20 national football team, which now has a spring in their step ahead of their next group match against Namibia on Monday.
Just like a sneak thief, he got into the box and shot a seemingly harmless strike that was guided into the net by a deflection on Comoros defender.
Malawi wasted numerous scoring opportunities after dominating with constant pressure and positive play.
Junior Flames coach Patrick Mabedi said despite his charges being nowhere close to replicating last year’s 4-0 triumph over the islanders, they were happy with the result.
He said: “I am happy with the victory although we missed a lot of chances.”
Malawi captain Hadji Wali said they will do their best to sharpen their striking prowess in the next games.
On Friday , Malawi had 15 shots, five of which went on target while their opponents had seven with a single shot on target.
Malawi are in the same group as Zambia, Namibia and Comoros. They will face Namibia on Monday before having their final group match against Zambia on December 9.
This year’s Cosafa Under-20 championship will be used as a regional qualifier for the 2021 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Mauritania with the finalists making the grade.
Malawi’s starting line-up: Hastings Banda, Innocent Shema, Wali (C), David Daudi, Emmanuel Saviel, Aubrey Maloya, Stanley Biliati, , Josephy Balakasi, Mologeni, Zizwa Hanjahanja and Mwaungulu. n