Malawi Under-20 national football team will have to win their last match to make it to the Cosafa Under-20 Championship semi-finals after going down 2-0 to Comoros in their second Group C game yesterday at Mavuso Stadium in e-Swatini.
After a dream 2-0 victory start over South Africa on Saturday, the Patrick Mabedi-coached Junior Flames needed a victory yesterday to take away some be ahead of their last match against Namibia tomorrow.
But the islanders put the spanners in Malawi’s works, scoring the opener in the 36th minute through striker Yakine Said’s spot-kick after a foul in the box.
It was the second time for Malawi to concede a penalty at the tournament.
But unlike in the opening match when goalkeeper Austin Chirambo saved South Africa’s spot kick, this time Said’s powerful shot was too much for the Blantyre-based Manchester Spare Parts Motors ‘keeper.
In a match monitored on Cosafa TV, the Junior Flames’ hopes of coming back into the game were thwarted when they were reduced to 10 players following a red card shown to defender Chimwemwe Nkhoma in the 71st minute.
Things took a turn for the worse for Malawi in the 77th minute when captain Chifundo Mphasi missed a penalty which could have helped them come back into the game if they had equalised.
Comoros took advantage of the numeric advantage and scored the second in the 83rd minute, this time through substitute Samuel Betombo.
Unlike in the opening match when Malawi utilised scoring opportunities, yesterday they were punished for their strikers Vincent Mkandawire and Mphasi’s wastefulness.
In contrast, their opponents had seven shots at goal, four off target and three on target resulting in the two goals.
The islanders have since displaced Malawi at the top of group with six points, having beaten Namibia 1-0 in their first match.
The Junior Flames were on second position with three points at press time as the other group’s match between South Africa and Namibia was in progress.
They now have to win their last match against Namibia tomorrow and hope to finish as best runners-up.