Africa-Press – Malawi. Liverpool’s star Naby Keita scored in the injury time at Stade General Lansana Conte, in Conakry Guinea to earn the host much needed three points over the Flames who looked inferior from the first whistle with their type of football in AFCON 2023 Ivory Coast qualifiers.
Guinea who lost 1-0 to Egypt days a go went into today’s game so determined to recover from the wounds inflicted by the Pharaoh’s in their group D opener in the capital Cairo.
Malawi was however confident of doing the upset in the Western Africa country as they were coming from a 2-1 win over Ethiopia back home at Bingu National Stadium.
Mario Mariana Marinica’s side failed to pass,coordinate well hence it was the host who had lion’s share in terms of the ball possession. Guinea scored in 42nd minute but the goal was ruled out for infringement on Malawi’s goalie Charles Thom.
The two sides played a barren first half despite Syli National dominance in many playing areas and ball possession. Flames continued with unpleasant display in the final half as they remained in their own half defending, but for how long could they defend against highly spirited Elephants?
Marinica made several changes as he searched for the goals at the same time defending, Micium Mhone, Yamikani Chester, Chikoti Chirwa and Alick Lungu went in for Stain Davie, Stanley Sanudi, Khuda Muyaba and Chimwemwe Idana.
At 78th minute another goal was disallowed for the host. As Malawi was hoping to get vital away 1 point, Naby Laye Keita scored after beautiful display and exchange of passes from their back after Frank Hellings Gabadihno Mhango was dispossessed the ball as he was attacking.
Malawi has now moved to second position following the defeat with 3 points while Ethiopia ascended to the summit after they came 2-0 victors over Egypt at the Bingu National Stadium in the Capital, Lilongwe.
Looking at match statistics, Ball possession Guinea had 73% while Malawi had 27%,Malawi had 5 shots with no shot on target while the host had 13 shots with 2 on target,Malawi completed 181 passes with 53% pass accuracy against 49% completed passes and 82% pass accuracy for Guinea. Guinea committed 12 fouls against 24 for Flames with 2 yellow cards.Malawi was caught offside 3 times against the host 1.
Meanwhile at Bingu National Stadium, Ethiopia broke a 33 years jinx for not winning over 7 times AFCON champions Egypt. They won 2-0 both goals scored in the first half.
Ethiopia displayed beautiful football and looked composed especially in the first half with Dawa Huttesa,Gatosh Yechi,Amanuel Aregawa and Abubaker Nassir Ahmed being marvel to watch. Egypt kept chasing their own shadows as Ethiopians shined with brilliant display.
The absence of Mohammed Salah, Mohammed Elneny and Trezguete to the Egyptian side played a great role as they could not hold their midfield well for so long giving Dawa Huttesa room to shine.
Last time Ethiopia defeated Egypt was in 1989,09 April,they won 1-0 at home, since then they have never won any match against one of Africa’s number one.
Egypt came a changed side in the second half,kept attacking the host as they were looking for goals but their efforts went in vain as Ethiopia contained the heat while sitting in their own half defending and trying to be hitting Pharaohs through counter attacks.
Ethiopia play Guinea in their group D third match away while Malawi will host Egypt at Bingu National Stadium in September. Ethiopians are now topping the group, Malawi are second with Guinea coming third and Egypt anchoring the group. All the four teams are tied on 3 points only goal differences are separating them.