By Antony Isaiah Jr:……………
The Flames in-stand Vice Captain, Stanley Sanudi will miss Friday’s African Cup Of Nations qualifiers match against Egypt as he is saving his one-match suspension.
Sanudi who has featured almost all the games for Flames since his debut over 7 years ago, accumulated two yellow cards in the games against Ethiopia’s Walyas and Guinea.
Sanudi becomes the third player to miss the game as Chiukepo Msowoya and Gilbert Chirwa were all ruled out of the tie due to injuries.
Fire and fury will be all around Malawi and the Head Coach, Mario Marian Marinica must douse the flames snatch victories in all ties or avoid defeats.
Should the “unscotching” Flames fail to scotch the Pharaohs, pressure will be piled on the Romanian tactician shoulders again as the Citizenry already have the negative attitudes towards him. He has failed to deliver in his time that he has been at the helm of the Malawi National Football Team.
With the game moved from the initially planned Cairo Stadium that swallows 80, 000 spectators to 23 June, the Flames are expected to silence 30, 000 supporters to watch the game on Friday night and keep their hope of securing a slot at the 2023 TotalEnergies African Cup Of Nations.
The Group D remain wide open to all the four members as they all have 3 points with only goal difference to separate them.
Speaking to the Football Association of Malawi media, Mario said the boys are ready to burn the Pharaohs in Egypt.
“We are geared and set for this game, our preparations were good and better. We have been complaining of our players not having enough game time in their respective clubs but that’s the situation.
“My boys are ready to face the strong squad like Egypt, they had been in that situation before. They faced big teams like Morocco, Senegal and other teams nothing new.
“I have instructed my boys to start the game on a higher note, they should defend the 50 percent of our chances and finish the game so that we should have positive result at the end of 90 minutes.
“Egypt are one of the African giants. They have world-class players in the likes of Mo [Mohammad] Salah, but it is their overall team performance that poses a threat. But that will not change our approach and, as always, we will try our best to get all the three points and we are not going there like lambs to be slaughtered,” said Mario.
Meanwhile, Captain John CJ Banda has echoed his head coach saying the players are knowing that a win in Egypt can put them in a better position to return to the Afcon finals.
He said, “As a team we are prepared for this game, we know that if we can do better here we have more chances of qualifying back-to-back to Afcon finals, every player knows how important the gane is. We just need to try our level best to come up with positive result.
“If we claim a win or a draw it means we will have an opportunity to work extra harder to get maximum points at home next week.
” Our coaches have done everything, it’s now up to us to stick to the plan that has been put inplace . I know lot of people are talking but this is the national team that they have, everyone who was born in Malawi has to rally behind us. I was part of the team that lost here I think the experience that I have will help a lot. Pray for us please.”
The last encounter between the two sides was in a friendly match in Alexandria in June 2015 and Flames current John Banda scored the consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat.
In total Malawi and Egypt have played 10 matches. In the three home matches the Flames managed two wins and one draw and no loss. The five away games in Egypt ended in one draw and four wins for the hosts.
Each team won one of the other two matches played in natural venues, both at All Africa Games.
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