The Malawi national football team lost 5-4 to South African on post match penalties to fail to win the finals of the 2019 COSAFA plate section in a match played on Friday evening at the Moses mabidha stadium.
Flames coach Meke Mwase trusted the players that started again Comoros in the semi finals of the plate section and the team settled quickly in the game as they dominated play than the home side.
Flames captain and midfielder John Banda was instrumental for the flames as his combination with Gerald Phiri jnr disorganized Bafana Bafana that Malawi created more chances which their strikers failed to convert.
Gerald phiri jnr came close to scoring for the flames when his well taken corner kick hit the post after Gabadinho Mhango missed another clear chance in the 45th minute after beating his marker in the box only to see his shot saved by South Africa’s goalkeeper that at it was goalless at half time.
In the second half Bafana Bafana utilized home ground advantage and reorganized themselves that Malawi were seen behind the ball in the early minutes of the second half.
Flames coach Meke Mwase sensed the danger and Introduced Chikoti Chirwa and Peter Banda for Gerald phiri her and Chimwemwe Idana who solidified the team and jealousy denied South Africa a goal in the entire 90 minutes.
The game headed into extra time and fatigue worked to the disadvantage of both teams as they slowed the pace of the game and strikers from both seemed to have forgotten their scoring boots on the evening.
With four minutes to end the match flames were forced to make a substitution introducing goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe for Brighton Munthali who got injured and the game ended 0-0 with penalties to decide the winner.
Bafana Bafana managed to win the plate after converting five of their spot kicks despite Flames goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe saving two penalties on the evening as John Banda, Micium Mhone and Charles Petrol failed to score for Malawi.
After the match Flames interim coach Meke Mwase said its was painful as they failed to win the plate but the tournament has helped to a build a team and they have learnt a lot from it.
“It’s painful we have failed to win the plate this even but you either win or lose in the game of football but am happy on the other side as we did lose any game in regulation time and we managed to score more goals this time which has been a long time problem for the team.
“With how the team has performed I have hope that if FAM can manage to keep this team together and give it friendly games as often as possible we can have a good team for the future which can compete on a bigger stage and whether I will continue as coach for the team, I leave that in the hands FAM to decide with how I have performed at this tournament “, he said.
At this year’s tournament Malawi has played six games winning three games, losing twice on penalties and drawing once and have finished as runners up of the COSAFA plate section after losing to South African.