By Our Reporter
The Malawi National Football Team, The Flames have on Friday suffered a heartbreaking exit from the highly anticipated 2023 HollywoodBets COSAFA Cup.
They got a 3-0 humiliation against Lesotho on postmatch penalties after a one-all-draw in regulation time.
The clash, filled with intensity and drama, left Malawian fans crestfallen as their hopes of their team’s progression in the tournament were dashed.
It was Lesotho’s formidable striker, Thaba-Ntšo, who expertly found the back of the net in the 18th minute of the first half.
But Flames’ Chawanagwa Kaonga equalized eight minutes later trough a penalty after the Lesotho defender handled Lanjesi Nkhoma’s fierce strike in the danger zone.
As the halftime whistle beckoned, fate seemed to favor the Flames. A Lesotho player received a red card after a rough foul on Kaonga; leaving his team a man down for the remainder of the match.
But the Patrick Mabedi led charges failed to utilize the numerical advantage; pushing the game into penalties.
Disappointingly, Malawi faltered under immense pressure, failing to convert even a single penalty kick. Captain Stanley Sanudi, Chimwemwe Idana and Chikondi Mphasi had all their penalties saved.
Mabedi hailed his charges for putting up a gallant fight but said it wasn’t their day. In the match, Chimwemwe Idana of Malawi was voted Man of the Match.
Now, Lesotho now eagerly awaits the outcome of the highly anticipated match between Zambia and South Africa,.
The reached the semifinals after defeating Zambia, Comoros and Seychelles in group stages.