Malawi National Team, flames Coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) and his stand-in captain John Lanjesi say they are optimistic of causing an upset against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Tuesday.
Malawi host the African champions in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group B qualifier at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre from 3pm.
The Flames are ranked 125th—75 places below the West Africans—who lead Group B with seven points from three games..
The Flames, who lost narrowly 1-0 in the first leg away in Yaounde on Friday, are third in the four-team group with three points also from three games while Morocco’s Atlas Lions are second with six points.
“This is it. I have this good feeling that we will make Malawians smile as we return to Kamuzu Stadium and seek to turn it into a fortress again,” said RVG.
Said RVG: “The atmosphere is camp is amazing. The players know they are up against a giant, but they are prepared to fight for their motherland and put a smile on Malawians.
“The result in Yaounde gives us confidence that we are not far off and if we can pull off a surprise,” he said.
However, RVG acknowledges that it will be tough.
“It can never be easy. For that to happen, we have to take even half a chance, but we are drawing a lot of confidence from our 12th player—the fans. We are urging them to come and rally behind their boys and create an intimidating atmosphere for Cameroon,” he said.
On his part, Lanjesi said: “We know that if we can give 100 percent effort we can spring a shock result and that is what makes football such an interesting game because anything can happen and it just depends on how we apply ourselves.
“We also urge the fans to come and cheer us on.”
RVG hinted of ringing some changes to the starting line-up in Yaounde.
“We are still monitoring the players’ recovery after the trip and also the tough game in Yaounde, we could make one or two changes.”
Asked on the approach, RVG said: Obviously, we will have to be more on the offensive because this is a must-win game if we are to remain in contention for a qualification slot.
Cameroon’s coach Clarence Seed of said he expects even a tough return encounter.
“They really tried to hold us at home and I reckon it will even be tougher at their backyard and we need to exercise a lot of caution and plan properly,” he said.