The Flames of Malawi failed to beat the Crocodiles of Lesotho “Likuena” following a 1-1 draw in an international friendly match played at Bingu National Stadium on Saturday in their preparation for the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco next year.
The visitors took a surprising lead just a minute before the recess, through a corner, when the Malawi defence was caught napping. However, the hosts pulled level just seven minutes into the second half through Chikoti Chirwa from a set piece.
It proved to be a game of two halves as the visitors dominated the first half, while the home side came back strongly in the second half.
The home side had their first chance five minutes into the game when Atusayi Nyondo, returning to the team for the first time in almost two years, blasted his effort wide when he was set through by Robert Ng’ambi.
The Flames were forced to make an early substitute when Gomezgani Chirwa sustained a thigh injury, paving way for Stanley Sanudi whose introduction brought life into the team.
Robin Ngalande exchanged passes with Schumacher Kuwali before releasing Gerald Phiri Jnr who saw his drive well saved by Likuena goalkeeper Mphuthi Likano for a corner.
On the other end, the visitors then settled down, launching a stunning counter hurricane attack which saw Brighton Munthali making his first save of the day when Limbikani Mzava failed to dispose Luciano Matsoso.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Nyondo saw his shot hit the side net when he was set through by Sanudi.
Despite creating lots of clear-cut chances, it was Lesotho who scored just a minute before the half time.
A corner from the left flank met Napo Matsoso who connected well from close range to beat Munthali in goals.
However, the Flames came back stronger in the second half as they pulled level on 51st minute through Chirwa from a corner kick by Ngalande.
The Flames Head Coach, Ronny Van Geneudgen then brought in pacey Dalitso Sailesi for Kuwali and this was the change that Malawi needed as the team started attacking like a venomous snake in search for the winning goal, but Lesotho’s defence was too stubborn to unlock.
Nyondo was nowhere to be seen as he was kept at bay by the visitors’ defence.
However, Ngalande was substituted for Chiukepo Msowoya while Nyondo was replaced by Levison Maganizo as the hosts increased their attacking options.
Munthali produced a stunning save to deny Likuena from scoring the winning goal with less than eight minutes to play.