All Flames first-choice goalkeeper Simplex Nthala has admitted that it hurts being reduced to spectators of the ongoing 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Nthala made the admission on Wednesday before manning the sticks for his Mozambican side Liga Maculmana who took on Angola, who are at the Africa Cup of Nations finals, on Thursday in a friendly match in Benoni.
“After taking on Angola, we will on Saturday play Premeiro de Agosto from Angola, which are also here for preseason. It is so painful as we see teams that we beat before playing at Afcon. Luck will be on us one day. Playing Angola will, at least, give us a taste of Afcon,” said Nthala.
Nation Online had asked Nthala and other Flames players such as Peter Pindani on how it felt not being among the continent’s best 16 teams at the Nations Cup finals. Angola lost 2-0 to hosts Bafana Bafana on Wednesday.
Maculmana were also expected to feature other Flames players Zicco Mkanda and new-signing Joseph Kamwendo.
“Having these countrymen is great as we can lift each other up when our form dips. It is great having him [Kamwendo], our vice-captain in Flames, around at a professional club like ours,” Nthala added.
On Wednesday, Pindani, separately seemed to agree with Nthala on the Nations Cup, noting that “any rational player would feel it is a lost opportunity for a national team to miss these kind of competitions where its players especially the up-and-coming stars could be highly exposed.”
Flames lost 3-0 on aggregate over two legs to miss out on back to back Nations Cup qualification. Other Malawi players also admitted feeling sad for missing out on the continental showpiece.
Still in South Africa, Peter Wadabwa scored twice for Thanda Royal Zulu as the First Division side held Golden Arrows 2-2 in a Durban warm up match on Wednesday.