Malawi national football team starts the Cosafa Cup campaign today against Seychelles in the opening Group B game at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban with interim coach Meke Mwase hoping for victory.
Mwase came into the spotlight after a near-perfect Confederation of African Football (CAF) Under-20 campaign and later with the Under-23 in the Olympic Games qualifiers.
But his reign as interim Flames coach was dented after losing to e-Swatini in the African Nations Championship.
Today’s game will offer him an opportunity to redeem the Flames from the shock exit of the Chan tournamnet after a goalless draw away and a one-all draw at home.
In an interview from Durban, South Africa, Mwase said he is aware of the soccer fraternity’s expectation for a win.
“I don’t know much about Seychelles and I don’t remember if we have played against them before.
“It has been very important all the time to win. It’s unfortunate that we haven’t been doing well. We can do better now since we have another chance,” he said.
Flames stand-in captain Christopher John Banda said the players are in bullish mood to win.
“We have come here not as tourists, but we have come to compete. We are hopeful that we will progress beyond the quarter-finals,” he said.
Banda also said although their opponents are lowly underrate Seychelles.
South Africa-based professional Gabadinho Mhango, who is expected to lead the onslaught, said they will take the game seriously.
“This is an important game because it will determine our future in the competition. We didn’t go to Afcon and that’s what we have. We will fight to the end. I can’t promise what I can do, but as a team we are ready to show that we are a new generation,” he said.
Ranked 128 on Fifa rankings, The Flames are favourites against a team on 190.
Having failed to beat e-Swatini (formerly Swaziland) ranked 143 the rankings cannot guarantee Malawi the much needed win to put them on track to qualify for the quarter-finals since 2016. Seychelles are unpredictable if results in the last previous games are anything to go by.