Flames had three post-match penalties saved to lose 1-4 against Lesotho in the COSAFA Cup semis

By Duncan Mlanjira

Flames failed to crack down a resolute Lesotho after the Likuenas lost Mkwananzi in 44th minute when he was given matching orders after fouling Chawanangwa Kaonga — having picked a yellow card earlier — and went on to lose 1-4 after post-match penalties of the COSAFA Cup semifinals this afternoon.


The game ended 1-1 and first to take the post-match penalties was captain Stanley Sanudi but the Sotho goalkeeper read his body movement well and dived in the path of the weak drive and saved.

Next was Chimwemwe Idana, who was also read well by the goalkeeper as well as the third taker.

Meanwhile, coach Patrick Mabedi — anticipating that the match would go into penalties after the Likuenas played a strong defensive game — replaced goalkeeper Brighton Munthali, who kept a clean sheet in the three group match victories, by replacing him with Innocent Nyasulu.

But he dived the wrong way in all three of the takers including the winning shot by his counterpart, who had already saved three.

However, the Flames got a consolation by being Idana being voted Man of the Match — joining his teammates in all the three group matches; leftback Alick Lungu in the first game against Zambia; Chawangwa Kaonga in the second against Seychelles and Patrick Mwaungulu against Comoros.


Played at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban, South Africa, the Flames conceded first in the 17th minute when a counter attack saw a Sotho send in the neat cross from the right which defenders just watched and found Jane Thabantso free to shoot past goalkeeper Brighton Munthali.

Before that the Flames escaped a scare when a corner flew past the goalmouth and found an unmarked Sotho at the near post who headed in but captain Stanley Sanudi clear off the line with his head.

The goal gave the Likuenas some confidence as Malawi kept losing possession easily and the Flames soon picked and started playing neat passes but was the last touch and the strong resolute defence.

In the 23rd minute, a Sotho handled a goal bound shot in the box and from the resultant penalty Chawanangwa Kaonga leveled the scores.

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Coach Patrick Mabedi is using a 3-5-2 formation that has Brighton Munthali in goals with captain Stanley Sanudi in defence together with Nickson Mwase and Chembezi Dennis with Chimwemwe Idana; Patrick Mwaungulu; Lloyd Aaron; Alick Lungu and Lanjesi Nkhoma in midfield.

Chawanangwa Kaonga and Christopher Kumwembe were the target men.

The coach made changes in the second half replacing Kaonga for Patrick Macheso in the 60th minute; Kumwembe for Chifundo Mpasi in the 87th — in a double substitution with goalkeeper Brighton Munthali for the Nyasulu, who was targeted for the penalty shootout but was ineffective.