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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2021: Malawi were 'relentless' against Zimbabwe and ‘rectified past mistakes’ – Mwase

6:08 PM SGT 15/1/22
Meck Mwase, coach of Malawi.
The Flames tactician praises his players for putting up a great fight to extinguish the Warriors in their second group fixture on Friday

Malawi assistant coach Meck Mwase has attributed the team’s 2-1 Africa Cup of Nations victory against Zimbabwe to rectifying mistakes from their opening fixture in Cameroon.

The Flames recovered from a goal down after Ishmael Wadi had given the Warriors the lead, to score a double courtesy of Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhango and pick their first win in Group B at Stade Omnisports in Bafoussam.

Heading into the fixture, Malawi had lost their opening match 1-0 against Guinea while Zimbabwe had also suffered defeat against Senegal.

Mwase, who handled the team in the absence of Mario Marinica, who is isolating after contracting Covid-19, has now praised his team for putting up a good fight to overturn the result despite conceding a quick goal.

“We are so delighted to have won our first game in what was a tough game,” Mwase said as quoted by CafOnline. “We began the match slowly conceding a quick goal but that did not deter us as we fought relentlessly to come back and win the game.

“After our first loss we never gave up but went back to work on our previous mistake and today it paid off handsomely and I am proud of our players for that fantastic performance.”

On his part, Mhango, who was voted man of the match after his double propelled the Flames, said: “We are delighted to have got our first win and on an individual capacity I feel honoured to be named man of the match.

“It was not an easy game considering Zimbabwe were a very good side. The tournament has been exciting and performing well at such a stage is both fulfilling and exciting and I want to thank my fellow players for the hard work we all put in achieving the important win.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza blamed the team’s defeat on losing many balls in the middle of the park and conceding easy goals.

“Our game management failed us today as we lost very easy balls and conceded easy goals,” Mapeza told the same portal. “We had a good game plan but the players never followed the instructions to the letter.

“I feel disappointed but we have taken important lessons and we have also got positives from the game against Malawi and also Senegal.

“We will go back to the drawing board to plan on our next match which is a formality but we would be glad to get positive results against Guinea and go home with something to console us.”

Malawi will wind up their group phase matches with a clash against Senegal on January 18 while Zimbabwe will come up against Guinea.