The Malawi Under-20 national football team has vowed to recover from a poor start at the Cosafa Youth Championship in Zambia as they face Mozambique in their second Group A match on Thursday.
Junior Flames team manager Aubrey Nankhuni yesterday said their 0-2 loss to hosts Zambia was a result of his charges’ fatigue after going to the competition without preparations but they have now at least developed a thick skin to make amends in their second encounter. They will take on guest side Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in their final group match.
“Fatigue cost us the game against Zambia in the opener. We played well in the first half, but lost our rhythm deep in the second half when we started to lose possession easily, especially in the midfield,” he said.
“Our next game is a must-win to have survival chances in the competition and we have organised ourselves to give Malawians the much desired results against Mozambique.”
Meanwhile, Malawi has first-choice defender Sammy Byson on the injury list after he suffered a knock on the ankle during Sunday’s match against Zambia.
“But all is well because the other players are in good shape and ready to prove their mettle this Thursday,” Nankhuni said.
According to the competition’s format, top teams of each of the three groups will progress to the next round alongside the overall best runner-up.
But the Junior Flames should not expect an easy ride in their encounter as Mozambique coach Victor Matine told www.cosafa.com that they will go into the competition with high hopes of success as they are seeking their first ever regional championship in this age group.
“We intend to improve our performance and ensure that our team goes past the group stages,” he was quoted as having said.