Malawi Under-23 national football team yesterday showed resilience and character when they came from behind to beat Young Zebras 2-1 in Lobatse, Botswana, in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The visitors started on a higher note with good passes, creating scoring opportunities but failed to register a goal.
Striker Baston Chikaiko twice failed to score when he received good passes from attacker Mike Mkwate.
It was the hosts in the 60th minute, who found the back of the net through Mothusi Johnson, after a poor communication between Malawi goalkeeper Robson Chiyenda and his defenders.
Malawi coach Meke Mwase introduced Francis Mkonda and Hassan Kajoke to replace Ernest Tambe and Mkwate respectively.
Malawi took command of the game and in the 83rd minute, Kajoke scored after Botswana defence failed to stop him.
Gregory Nachipo scored the winning goal in the 85th minute after dribbling past two Botswana players.
It was game over, Mwase was a happy man.
“We struggled because it is very hot here [in Lobatse]. After we conceded, we brought in another striker because we were playing with a lone striker,” he said.
Mwase is confident that the team to qualify for the Afcon under 23 tournament.
The second leg will be played on Tuesday next week at Kamuzu Stadium.
Botswana coach Mogomotsi Teenage thinks his men were carried away with the slender lead after scoring.
“We are going to Malawi and we will still fight to win,” he said. n