The soup for hunger-stricken Malawi came through a sour 1-0 loss in Botswana on Tuesday. Come Saturday, there was no contaminating the Flames’ three-course meal in Namibia.
The Flames roasted the Brave Warriors 1-0; with it reigniting some appetite for 2014 Brazil World Cup African qualification.
It was all thanks to hot pepper they call Gabadinho Mhango living up to his billing on his sixth attempt in the black, red and green strips.
It was a typical case of the right dreadlocked wings of Fischer Kondowe stepping up to the plate to whet Gabadinho’s appetite.
Hungry masses in Malawi celebrated the rare away taste of victory. For the Flames’ acting chef Eddington Ng’onamo, the win offered crumbs of comfort.
Ng’onamo missed the Windhoek party to mourn his son’s death.
Nothing can compensate the loss of a son but, at least, the Flames gave Ng’onamo a reason to face another day.
There is even more hope for Malawians who suddenly believe a maiden appearance at the 2014 World Cup party is sumptuous reality.
Yet, there are three more parties and one more round coming for the group’s second-placed Flames (five points just like leaders Nigeria).
The group’s anchors Warriors (three points) visit Malawi on 8 June 2013 and a week later host Kenya before travelling to Nigeria on 7 September.
The group’s best will advance to wine and dine in the final qualifying round for a World Cup seat.
In Malawi, the win gave fans some respite on Admarc queues where they were for days on end to buy rationed 10 kilogramme packs of maize.
It was time to forget four consecutive Flames’ defeats on all fronts that left the nation on starvation diet.
But caution must never be thrown to the wind. One bumper party cannot nourish the Flames who have starved on international football table for so long, leading to their dip on Coca-Cola Fifa ranking to 111.
Namibia will surely come to Malawi bent on spoiling the party. So too Kenya’s Harambee Stars, who shared the 1-1 spoils in Nigeria in another group F’s feast.
If the sour test of the Zebras jerked Ng’onamo to action, there is need for more trial matches between now and June——lest there be a blip on the Flames’ party.