The Flames were held to a goalless draw by visiting Namibia but still maintain their second spot in Group F
maintained second spot in their 2104 World Cup qualifying group as they played to a 0-0 draw against Namibia in Blantyre on Wednesday. The result coupled with Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Kenya
Malawi, which was level with Nigeria at the top of Group F, couldn’t find a way past the Namibians at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre for its third draw in four games in Africa’s qualifying competition. Nigeria was drawing 0-0 with Kenya at halftime in Nairobi.
It was a tale of too close and yet too far as the Flames wasted a horde of scoring opportunities to be held to a goalless draw by visiting Namibia’s Brave Warriors in 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Wednesday.
After the game, coach Eddington Ng’onamo could not believe his side had failed to scorch the Brave Warriors of Kalahari desert.
Ng’onamo rued the missed opportunities and wished he had sharp shooters like Gabadinho Mhango who watched part of the second half from VIP after finishing his JCE examination just a stone throw away from the stadium at Chichiri Secondary School.
“It’s not a fair result. We had a lot of ball possession. We tried to shoot at goal and hit the post at one time, but we were just unlucky that we have not won,” the coach said.
“The battle is still on. We don’t know what has happened in Kenya. But at least we have a point from this game which is not that bad. At least a draw is better than a loss at home.”
Little did he know that Nigeria had scored in the 87th minute just a few minutes after Malawi and Namibia game ended.
The win means the Super Eagles still lead Group F with eight points, Malawi is second with six points followed by Namibia at five points while Kenya have two points.
His counterpart was quite satisfied with the result knowing they survived by the skin of their teeth.
“Even though we wanted to win the game, one point is always good. I think we lost a lot of ball possession. We gave away too many balls and Malawi counterattacked us. Malawi were good at keeping the ball. But if you look at the goal scoring opportunities, I think we had more than Malawi,” Roger Palmgren said.
The coach’s sentiments were a true reflection of the game in which Malawi started on a high note as captain Joseph Kamwendo and Robert Ng’ambi kept the supply lines open for strikers Atusaye Nyondo and Robin Ngalande.
Though Namibia were quite disciplined at the back, they still opened up with their flat defence and Malawi already had some six chances inside 25 minutes.
But in the first half, Malawi’s closest chance was when Nyondo hit the side netting after being set by Fischer Kondowe and when Ngalande’s grass cutter found the Namibia goalkeeper Virgill Vries alert.
Nyondo came close to scoring but he miscalculated a pass in the box injuring himself in the process after excellent work from impressive Kamwendo and Ng’ambi deep in the midfield.
He was eventually replaced by Esau Kanyenda after the injury.
In the second half, the visitors started strongly changing from their defensive tactics and opting for fast build ups from the back.
Malawi opted to counterattack but still no goals came.
Kamwendo’s goal-bound thunderbolt was blocked by defenders. Baggio twice headed off target in inexplicable circumstances while Kanyenda’s header hit the post.
Namibia almost shocked Malawi when their Osospa striker Tangeni Shipahu forced Malawi goalkeeper Charles Swini to save a right corner bound volley from a Denzil Haoseb set piece.
Straight from a counterattack striker Ngalande pounced on a loose ball in the box but Namibia goalkeeper denied him with superb save. – By Joy Ndovi