By Mphatso Malidadi:
Malawi national football team started this year’s Cosafa Cup in South Africa on an impressive note by defeating Seychelles 3-0 at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, South Africa, Sunday.
It was a dream-start for the Flames, who failed to win any match at the last two editions of the regional competition.
It took foreign-based players Gabadinho Mhango, Richard Mbulu and substitute Gerald Phiri Jnr to hand Flames caretaker Coach, Meke Mwase, his first win in three games.
Mwase’s first two games ended in 0-0 and 1-1 stalemates against eSwatini in the ill-fated African Nations Championship qualifiers.
The Flames’ winning margin could have been wider had they taken all their chances in the match.
The result took Malawi to the top of Group B on goal difference ahead of second-placed Namibia, who beat Mozambique 1-0 on the same day.
Gabadinho opened the scoring in the ninth minute from what looked like a harmless free-kick that evaded Seychelles goalkeeper, Ah- Kong Ian.
Seychelles tried to come back into the game but the Flames were tenacious in defence, with Peter Cholopi organising the backline.
After recess, the Flames increased the lead when Gabadinho combined with Mbulu, who netted the second goal in the 78th minute.
With four minutes to full time, substitute Chawanangwa Kawonga set up fellow substitute Phiri Jnr to wrap up the match.
Malawi face Namibia at the same venue Tuesday, before wrapping their Group B campaign against Mozambique on Thursday.
Gabadinho, who has extended his spell at Bidvest Wits for another year, said the players wanted to give Mwase his first win.
“It is also good that there are several new players in the team who are combining very well. I believe the team’s future is bright,” Gaba said after being named Man-of-the-Match.
Mwase commended the players for their outstanding performance.
“It was a very good game. I thank the boys for working hard to win this match. We asked them to score more goals so that we gain confidence ahead of the match against Namibia,” he said.
Seychelles Coach, Gavlin William Jeanne, said it was a difficult game.
“It was a tough game. Malawi created many chances but we could have scored too,” Jeanne said.