Some Flames players have said while Cameroon deserve respect for being crowned African champions, they are not afraid of facing them in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifiers.
The Indomitable Lions, who beat Egypt’s Pharaohs 2-1 on Sunday night to win the continental showpiece in Libreville, Gabon, are in Group B of the 2019 qualifiers alongside Flames, Morocco and winners between Comoros and Seychelles.
While hailing Cameroon’s feat, captain Limbikani Mzava and striker Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango said they have no reason to fear the Indomitable Lions.
“In terms of class and stature, I would say they are ahead of us. They have high tactical discipline and their work-rate is good.
“We cannot run away from the fact that they are the champions, but if we plan and prepare well, we can surprise them, remember this is football and such is its beauty that you never know what is going to happen.
“But having said that, my concern is still on how we are planning for the tournament, especially that we do not have a coach in place because when the new coach is hired, he will need a bit of time to get to know the players and so on. That is my only worry,” he said.
On his part, Gabadinho said: “They [Cameroon] are a good team, but then we will be facing them in qualifiers and I suppose it will boil down to our preparations and approach. If you have self-belief you can move mountains. So, I would say it will be a tall order, but not impossible.
“We should also not look down upon Morocco, they too are a big team. So, the journey won’t be easy at all but we can make it.”
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said: “We will be honoured and privileged to host the champions and show them what we are made of.
“We have hosted big teams before such as Egypt and Ivory Coast and surprised them. Though we are underdogs on paper, we are ready to challenge the Cameroon because it will be a different ball game in our backyard.”
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said the Flames will have to prepare well to stand a chance of resisting the African champions. n