Eswatini frustrated the Malawi National football team as it ended 1-1 in the second leg of the 2020 African National Championship (CHAN) match played at the Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday afternoon to progress to the next round of the qualifiers on away goal rule after it ended goalless in the first leg in Eswatini.
The Flames who looked for nothing but a win started the game looking a more dangerous side as they attacked the visitors and dominated play in the first ten minutes.
With fifteen minutes into the game the visitors settled down and started to attack the Flames as they created chances from the midfield only to saved by goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
Both teams were conscious enough not to concede goals as they had solid defense lines but their strikers were wasteful in the first half as they failed to utilize few created chances from both sides that it was 0-0 at the break.
In the second half Eswatini continued from were they stopped in the first half as their fast type of football unsettled the home side that the visitors took the lead in the 52nd minute through Gamedze Sandile after the Flames defense was caught napping.
In the 56th minute Flames coach Meke Mwase introduced Mike Mkwate for Gasten Simkonda who two minutes later set Micium Mhone for an equaliser.
Having scored the goal, the Flames raised the tempo of the game as they searched for the win but a solid Eswatini defence stood film knowing a draw will see them through.
With 20 minutes to end the match both teams made changes with the Flames introducing Zicco Mkanda for Chiukepo Msowoya while the visitors brough in Magagula jnr for Sifiso Same but no goals were seen for the match to finish 1-1.
After the game, Flames assistant coach Lovemore Fazili was heartbroken on a day they wanted to make the nation proud.
“It’s painful we are out of CHAN competition after playing very well and the away goal rule has made us to lose the match but the boys played very well maybe bad lucky to us when we expected to give Malawians a win but we are sorry to the nation,”
“Actually we played very well but we conceded a goal after we made a simple blunder when we failed to control things in the middle of the pack and our friends took advantage of that and I hope next time we will do better if we manage to keep this team together “, Fazili said.
His opposite number, Costa Papichi coach for Eswatini was happy for the win say Malawi failed to tick on the day.
“Malawi played much better in Eswatini than today and we took advantage of that for us to win the game,”
“We have to concentrate on our next match in the next round as it will not be easy for us and we just have to prepare very well to win the win “, Papichi said.
The 1-1 draw takes Eswatini to the next round of the 2020 CHAN qualifiers and will face Angola in the next round.