“Flames tie in fair group of Cosafa” – Triple M

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Malawi National Team Head Coach, Mario Marian Marinica says Malawi has been drawn in a fair group in the 2022 Cosafa Cup after the draw that was conducted at the iconic Moses Mabhida stadium in host City , Durban on Tuesday.

Malawi have been drawn in Group B alongside Lethoso, Mauritius and eSwatini and the winner in the group will face the guests, Senegal in the quarterfinals.

He said, “I think the draw is relatively well-balanced. Having said that, we have to think that all the other three opponents have chances.

“Lesotho worked very hard recently against Ivory Coast in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and at the same time e-Swatini managed to get good results against Mozambique twice.

“I have also worked with Mauritius and in 2019 we managed to reach Oceanic Games finals and lost where we faced some tough teams such as Seychelles, Reunion Island. They have a good team with some two or three good players.”

However, the Romanian has told the local football fans not to expect the moon and the sun when his team participate in this year’s regional competition.

Th 57-year-old said all the teams without excluding Malawi have the chance to win the tournament.

Marinica said, “If Malawi has a chance of winning the competition for the first time ever, I presume that every team that enters the competition has a chance to grab it home.

“Do not have expectations, just have beliefs, and United behind the Flames,” added the Romanian.

In other games, holders South Africa will take on neighbours Mozambique in the quarterfinals of the tournament, that is in phase two.

Madagascar will face the Brave Warriors of Namibia in the third of the quarterfinals, while five-time winners Zambia tackle the winner of Group A, which contains Angola, Comoros, Seychelles, and Botswana in what is likely to be a hotly contested pool.

Only the top team in each pool will advance to the quarterfinals, making it a fierce battle for a place in the knockout stages.

The winners of the quarterfinals will advance to the semifinal round, while the losers will drop into the Plate competition and ensure they do have further matches to fine-tune for the upcoming African Nations Championship and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Durban will host the competition for the second time have been the perfect stage for the 2019 event that was won by Zambia as they defeated Botswana in the decider.

Last season, Malawi under Meke Mwase were booted out in the Group stage where they played against Senegal, Mozambique and Namibia.

Flames started the tournament against Mozambique in a game that they lost 2-0 courtesy of strikes from Tesoura Junior and Nelson Simbine.

Malawi played the second game against Namibia and it ended in 1-all stalemate with Kambindu scoring for Namibia while Micium Mhone netted for Malawi.

They finished their journey with a 2-1 defeat against the Lions of Teranga. Diop scored twice for Senegal while Khuda Muyaba netted a consolation goal for Malawi.

The 2022 Cosafa Cup is expected to kick off on July 5 to July 17.

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