Flames coach Mario Marinica says he took two goalkeepers to the 2022 Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup for tactical reasons.
The Flames usually travel with three goalkeepers, but this time the Romanian has brought only two here in Durban, South Africa for the regional tournament, saying he needs more onfield players.
He has dropped first choice goalkeeper Charles Thom of Silver Strikers and opted for Civil Service United’s Ernest Kakhobwe and Nyasa Big Bullets’ goalminder Clever Nkungula in his 23-member squad.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) competitions and communications director Gomezgani Zakazaka, however, said Thom is on standby in case one of the two goalkeepers gets injured or is suspended.
He said: “Unlike at other tournaments where you rest for three days, at Cosafa Cup you only have a day to recover before the next game. This makes it very tough to manage players’ recovery.
“Chances of on-field players getting injured are also higher than goalkeepers.
“So, the coach felt he should utilise the opportunity of taking more on-field players.”
The tournament kicks off today and will up to July 17.
The Flames are in Group B alongside e-Swatini, formerly Swaziland, Lesotho and Mauritius.
Malawi will start their campaign against Lesotho tomorrow before facing e-Swatini two days later.
Their last group match will be against Mauritius on July 10.
Marinica wants to use the tournament to prepare for the 2023 Africa Nations Championship and 2024 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Flames arrived in Durban on Saturday evening and are accommodated at Garden Court Southern Beach.