Under-20 national football team coach Patrick Mabedi says his target is to win all the matches at the Cosafa Under-20 Championship which starts tomorrow to October 17 in e-Swatini, formerly Swaziland.
The coach said he does not want to put the technical panel or the players under pressure with unrealistic targets.
The team, which is being led by Football Association of Malawi executive member Tiya Somba-Banda, left yesterday for e-Swatini.
Mabedi said: “Our target is simple, win the first game and fight to make sure we win the second. This is so because the outcome of next fixture is all about what comes from the first one.
“I don’t want to put pressure on the boys or on ourselves. But our goal is to win every game and see what happens.”
Malawi is in Group C alongside Namibia, South Africa and Comoros at the tournament which will also be the TotalEnergies Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The tournament’s finalists will qualify for the continental finals that will be held in Egypt early next year, which in turn, is the qualification route for the 2023 Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.
Malawi last qualified for Afcon Under-20 in 1999 where they finished in the group stages after losing all their matches in Ethiopia.
In 2018, Malawi finished bottom of their pool with just a single point from three games but improved in Zambia in 2019 where they were knocked out after beating Comoros (4-0), drew with Botswana (2-2) and a lost to the hosts (2-1).
Malawi’s last appearance was in 2020 where they won one of their three games, against Comoros (1-0), before losing to Namibia (2-1) and Zambia (2-0).
Last year, Malawi did not participate in the tournament which Mozambique won in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka said the association is confident that team can reach the Cosafa Under-20 Championship final and qualify for the Under-20 Afcon.
He said: “Being a qualifier for the Under-20 Afcon, we have been planning for this tournament for a year now. Time has now come to do the job.”