What seems false hopes have resurfaced. Can the Flames spring a surprise in Nigeria this September and sneak to the 2014 World Cup African final qualifying phase?
Nigeria’s 1-1 draw in Namibia on Wednesday night rekindled the remote hope for the Flames who earlier on the day were held 2-2 by Kenya.
Malawi remain second in Group F on seven points, two behind leaders Nigeria.
While The Nation’s records suggest that no Malawian football team has at any level won in Nigeria, ex-Flames coach Yasin Osman suggested that the Flames can stun the Africa kings.
Nigeria can sail through with a draw, but Malawi only needs a win.
“The result in Namibia is godsend as Nigeria are only two points ahead of us. In football, we say 30 percent is for luck and 70 percent preparation. Nothing is impossible,” said Osman, adding that it all hinges on a good strategy.
But Silver Strikers chairperson McDonald Mafuta Mwale said if he were to please the nation, then the Flames can stun Nigeria, “but, honestly speaking, I do not see us winning in Nigeria. We are not playing as a team.”
“We have to qualify for the Nations Cup twice or more first. For the nation to bank on a Form 2 boy [Gabadinho Mhango] it is dangerous. We may destroy his career,” Mafuta-Mwale explained.
Flames caretaker assistant coach Patrick Mabedi and FAM commercial manager Casper Jangale believe Malawi’s inferior record against Nigeria can end.
“We are underdogs, but they are under pressure. If we do a thorough research and plan well, we can do it,” Mabedi insisted.
Football analyst Felix Ngamanya Sapao clung to hope, arguing: “Football is round and anything can happen when we face Nigeria. What is important is not to change the coaching panel until after the Nigeria fixture.”