In 4 games played, Flames only beat Senegal once in 1987 AFCON; drew once and lost 2

The Flames v the Teranga Lions at the AFCON Cameroon 2021

* Never beat Burkina Faso in 6 outings of 4 losses and 2 draws while played against Burundi was once in a 1-1 draw

* In an international friendly which was part of the Independence Day celebration on July 6, 1987

By Duncan Mlanjira

From the statistics published by, Malawi Flames have played four times against Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Cameroon 2021 champions, Senegal, in which they only beat the Teranga Lions once on August 4, 1987 in an AFCON qualifier.


The two sides, who have been drawn in Group L of the AFCON Morocco 2025 qualifiers — alongside Burkina Faso and Burundi — drew once, 0-0 on January 18, 2022 at the AFCON Cameroon 2021.

The Teranga Lions have won twice  — 3-2 on June 10, 2007 in an international friendly and 2-1 on July 14, 2021 in the COSAFA Cup in which the West Africans participated as guest nation.

They have only played once against Burundi, a 1-1 draw in an international friendly which was part of the celebration of Independence Day on July 6, 1987 while in 6 outings against Burkina Faso, the Flames lost 4 matches and drew 2.

Three losses were FIFA World Cup qualifiers — 2-4 on April 21, 2001; 0-1 on June 6, 2009; 0-1 on November 14, 2009 and the 4th loss of 1-3 was on November 12, 2020.

The draws were 1-1 on June 17, 2000 in FIFA World Cup qualifier and a 0-0 stalemate on November 16, 2020 in AFCON qualifiers.

Meanwhile, Confederation of African Football (CAF) released the full fixtures for the AFCON Morocco 2025 qualifiers to be played between September and November this year and the Flames will start their campaign against Burundi between September 2-10.

The Flames will then travel to Burkina Faso on matchday 2 in same period of September 2-10 before facing Senegal in back-to-back assignments, starting away and then at home between October 7-15.

It will be followed by a return match away against Burundi before winding up the campaign at home against Burkina Faso between November 11-19.

The two top teams in the group will qualify for the  AFCON finals to take place in Morocco next year, to be played be played from December 21, 2025 to January 18, 2026 — as opposed to the usual period of January-February.


At the AFCON Cameroon 2021, the Flames did trouble Senegal and the draw squeezed the Teranga Lions to knockout phases while Malawi also qualified as best runners-up in their group.

It was Senegal who took the initiative to Malawi from kick off through Habib Diallo with an opening though his header from Bouna Sarr’s cross was wide off the mark.

Moments later, Sadio Mane missed a good chance to put his team in the lead but couldn’t keep his shot down from Bouna Sarr’s lovely cutback.

On the other hand, Gabadinho Mhango was looking dangerous as he began causing all sorts of problems for the Senegal defense. His best effort came from a set piece which he was unfortunate not to convert as it deflected wide of Mendy’s goal.

Malawi stood resolute in defense and starved the star-studded Senegal attack of the ball in the closing stages of the first half and the Teranga Lions stepped up at the start of the second period looking to take control of proceedings.

Habib Diallo came close to scoring but Malawi keeper Charles Thom was quick to react and tip the ball over the bar. Thom made another great save this time from Idrissa Gueye’s well taken free kick.

Senegal escaped a scare towards the end of the game when Malawi had a penalty claim waved away by VAR check following an alleged infringement in the penalty area.—Background match report by Cafonline