The Flames celebrate Mbulu’s goal—Picture courtesy of fam.mw
* As the Flames end Mozambique’s 12-year supremacy with 1-0 win at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday
* Côte d’Ivoire beat Cameroun 2-1 on Monday after 0-0 draw against Mozambique on Friday
* The Flames next date Côte d’Ivoire in back-to-back assignments, first at home on October 6 and away on October 10
* The same with the Mambas in back-to-back fixtures starting away to Cameroun
By Duncan Mlanjira
Richard Mbulu’s 10th minute goal against Mozambique in their second 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifier on Tuesday was enough for Malawi to end the 12-year dominance the Mamba’s enjoyed over the Flames.
Played at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa — since Malawi’s home Bingu National Stadium did not pass Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection standards — the win gave the Flames much need full points to tie with Cameroun on three points.
However, the Indomitable Lions are second on better goal aggregate after beating the Flames 2-0 and losing to Côte d’Ivoire 1-2 on Monday.
Côte d’Ivoire lead Group D with four points following their 0-0 draw with Mozambique in their opening campaign on Friday — leaving the Mambas at the bottom with a single point ahead of the next rounds of Match Days next month.
The Flames next date Côte d’Ivoire in back-to-back assignments — first at home on October 6 at a venue yet to be announced and away on October 10 — the same with the Mambas away to Cameroun first.
According to Fam.mw, Mbulu — who plies his trade at South African Premier League outfit — Baroka FC took advantage of a wild back pass by a Mozambique defender to head into an empty net a rebound.
The Mambas goalkeeper Ernan Siluane, in an attempt not to pick the back pass to avoid a free kick, headed the ball into the post before failing on the side and a lurking by Mbulu headed it into the net.
Fam.mw report says the Flames went on to take control of the game and Mambas had to thank substitute goalkeeper substitute goalkeeper Victor Guambe, who replaced Siluane at half time, for some terrific saves.
The Costa do Sol goalkeeper denied Gabadinho Mhango with fingertip save after the Orlando Pirates striker beat two Mambas defenders.
The report further said Tanzania side Simba FC’s Peter Banda also saw his effort parried for corner after breaking on the right wing and in added on time it was Polokwane striker Khuda Muyaba’s turn for the goalkeeper yet to make another save from the former Silver Strikers’ volley.
Coach Meck Mwase made four changes to the squad that lost 0-2 to Cameroon on Friday — replacing Nyasa Big Bullets’ goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe for Mighty Wanderers’ Richard Chipuwa — returning to action since 2018.
Gabadinho and Khuda Muyaba — who were introduced as substitutes in the match against Cameroon — were in the first XI alongside Mbulu while Simba FC’s Peter Banda, John CJ Banda and Gerald Phiri Jnr were maintained in midfield.
The back four of Moldova-based Charles Petro, captain AmaZulu’s Limbikani Mzava, Polokwane City’s Dennis Chembezi and Mighty Wanderers’ Stanley Sanudi remained intact.
In the second half, Mwase introduced Yamikani Chester to replace Mbulu while Chikoti Chirwa came in for Phiri Jnr. He also made another double substitution, introducing Francisco Madinga and Chimwemwe Idana for Mhango and Peter Banda towards the end of the game to seal the victory.
The line up against the Mambas was Richard Chipuwa, Stanley Sanudi, Charles Petro, Chembezi Denis, Limbikani Mzava (C) , Gerald Phiri (CChikoti Chirwa 72′), Gabadinho Mhango (FranciscoMadinga 86′), Peter Banda (Chimwemwe Idana 86′), John Banda, Richard Mbulu (Yamikani Chester 61′), Khuda Muyaba.
In Yaounde on Friday, it was Ernest Kakhobwe, Stanley Sanudi, Limbikani Mzava, Dennis Chembezi, Charles Petro, Tawonga Chimodzi (Chikoti Chirwa 50′), John Banda, Peter Banda, Yamikani Chester, Gerald Phiri Jnr (Gabadinho Mhango 50′), Richard Mbulu (Khuda Myaba 76′).