Poor defending made the Flames pay dearly in their 2018 World Cup Qualifying game against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars as they conceded two quick goals within a space of just five minutes in the first half.
With defender Yamikani Fodya beaten, Miracle Gabeya and Limbikani Mzava failed to stop the Taifas and DR-Congo based Mbawana Ally Samata scored a priceless goal in the 18th minute.
As if that was not enough, goalkeeper Simplex Nthala failed to communicate with captain Limbikani Mzava and a deflection from Nthala made the scoring job for Thomas Emanuel Ulimwengu easy to make it 2-0 at 23 minutes.
Despite Flames starting the game on a high note, with Robin Ngalande at nine minutes releasing a thunderbolt which Tanzanian goalkeeper saved, the game’s tempo slowed after the two goals.
In the second-half the Taifa Starts breathed more fire into the game calling Flames’ defense to duty on several occasions.
Flames’ striking force ticked a bit in the second half with the introduction of Gabadinho Mhango, but the damage was already done.
Flames now have a tough assignment against the same team on Sunday at Malawi’s football mecca, Kamuzu Stadium.
They have to score three goals to progress to the next level in the tournament, and must not allow Tanzania to score.
Should that miracle happen, Flames will face Algeria in the next round of qualifiers.