Malawi fell out twice from the 2019 Confederation of African Football Associations (Cosafa) — the semifinals of the main tournament and in the final of the Plate Section but they have come back by claiming most of the individual awards, including five Man of the Match titles in six games.
Gabadinho Mhango claimed his against Seychelles, John Banda against Namibia, Gerald Phiri Jnr. against Mozambique, again Gerald Phiri against Zambia in the semifinal and John Banda against South Africa in the Plate final.
Gerald Phiri was also voted player of the tournament, the first Malawian to receive such an accolade since 2002 through former striker Esau Kanyenda.
On top of that, Malawi has won the fair play award while Gabadinho, Gerald Phiri and Mauritius striker Ashley Nazira finished as joint top scorers with three goals each.
Malawi scored 10 goals and were the highest scoring team at the tournament while their 3-0 win against Seychelles was the biggest win of the tournament.
It’s quite a huge contrast from the previous outings with other coaches — Ernest Mtawali (2016) and the Belgium Ronny Van de Geneughden (RVG) in 2017 and 2018, who was recently replaced by Meke Mwase.
For the Cosafa 2016 with Mtawali, the Flames lost 0-3 to Angola, 0-1 to Lesotho and beat Mauritius 1-0.
With RVG the following year, Malawi lost 0-2 to Tanzania, drew 0-0 with Angola and against 0-0 Mauritius to bow in group stages without scoring a goal.
For the 2018 edition, against with RVG, Malawi managed to score one goal, in the 1-1 draw against Botswana and lost 0-1 to Mauritius and drew 0-0 with Angola.
With Meke Mwase, it was a bitter-sweet performance in which they played so well but still went out — first in the semifinal of the main section and the final of the plate.
Malawi first beat Seychelles 3-0, Namibia 2-1 and drew 1-1 with Mozambique to reach the semis to date Zambia. They lead 2-0 against Zambians but finished 2-2 only to lose 2-4 in post-match penalties.
In the semifinal of the Plate section, they beat Comoros 2-1 to date hosts South Africa, whom they drew 0-0 after extra time only to lost 4-5 in post match penalties.
From the six games they scored 10 goals but still were knocked out.