By Duncan Mlanjira
Ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group B crunch qualifier Flames coach Meke Mwase cherishes that his charges should avenge for him by beating Uganda this afternoon in the game that kicks off at 15:00 CAT.
Mwase told a pre-match press conference at Protea Marriott Hotel, Skyz in Naguru, Kampala that the match is a blessing in disguise for him.
“The last time I came here as a player, we lost the battle,” Mwase is quoted as saying by Uganda online publication www.kawowo.com.
“I have been looking forward for this and I have told the players that much as a victory will be sweet for them and fans back home, it will be sweeter for me.”
In the recent five matches between these two countries, Malawi have an edge having won 2 matches, drawn twice and while Uganda Cranes have one victory, in which Mwase was a defender.
The latest encounter between the two was on March 27, 2018 at the Mandela National Stadium and it ended goal-less.
“We are ready for the game as it is a blessing in disguise,” he said.
This will be the first home game for the Cranes’ Northern Irish coach, Johnathan McKinstry, who says he expects an electric stadium to spur on his charges.
“We expect a full backing from the fans and we shall do what is required to get the points we need here.
“We need players who will fight for the shirt because it will be a difficult challenge against Malawi.”
The online talks highly of captain John Banda as arguably among the most senior players on the team.
“His experience on the team remains valuable ahead of this most important duel in Kampala,” said www.kawowo.com.
“In fact, Banda, a midfielder with Blue Eagles Football Club was one of the players on the Malawi team that played to a goal-less draw at Namboole Stadium with the Uganda Cranes.
“The other player of significance is Orlando Pirates forward Gabadihno Mhango. The star striker features in the South Africa PSL where captain Dennis Onyango is key and has quite a number of times monitored him.”
The online spotlights Onyango and Faruku Miya as key players for the Uganda Cranes.
“The captain and first choice goalkeeper Dennis Onyango has time immemorial proved that he is the precious pillar for the team.
“Besides organizing and leading the team from the back, Onyango provides those pin point saves and one against one stops that have proved worthwhile for the team.
“Onyango also disclosed to the media that all the Uganda Cranes players have that will power and energy to diligently serve their country above self.
Goalkeepers: William Thole (Be Forward Wanderers), Brighton Munthali (Silver Strikers)
Defenders: Lucky Malata (Be Forward Wanderers), Gomezgani Chirwa (Civil Sporting), Peter Cholopi (Be Forward Wanderers), Stanley Sanudi (Be Forward Wanderers), Nickson Nyasulu (Big Bullets), Trevor Kalema (Silver Strikers
Midfielders: Idana Chimwemwe (Big Bullets), Chester Yamikani (North Carolina, US), Gerald Keith Phiri Jr. (Baroka, South Africa), John Banda (captain, Blue Eagles), Peter Banda (Big Bullets), Melcium Mhone (Blue Eagles), Kaira Chimango (Nyasa Big Bullets), Chikoti Chirwa (Kamuzu Barracks)
Strikers: Gabadihno Mhango (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Richard Mbulu (Baroka, South Africa), Hassan Kajoke (Nyasa Big Bullets), Robin Ngalande (Zira FK, Azerbaijani).
Probable Uganda squad:
Dennis Onyango, Bevis Mugabi, Joseph Benson Ochaya, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Murushid Juuko, Khalid Aucho, Mike Azira, Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, William Luwagga Kizito, Henry Patrick Kaddu.