Malawi Poised To Shock Senegal To Secure Last 16 Spot

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Gabadinho Mhango of Malawi celebrates goal with teammates during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Malawi and Zimbabwe on the 14 January 2022 at Omnisport Stadium Bafoussam, Cameroon / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Malawi will battle it out with Senegal in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group B match at the Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam in Cameroon on Tuesday.

The Flames claimed their second ever win in the Afcon finals when they defeated Zimbabwe 2-1 in their second Group B match on Friday and Malawi are now placed third on the group standings – a point behind leaders, Guinea.

The victory boosted Malawi’s ambitions of reaching the knockout phase as a win over Senegal will see them advance to the Last 16. A draw could also be enough to see the Flames reach the Last 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Frank Mhango, the Malawi striker, explained that teamwork and team spirit were key to their victory over the Warriors of Zimbabwe and he stated that they will use the same approach against Senegal.

“I am very pleased with last night’s performance,” Mhango told his club, Orlando Pirates’ official website after inspiring his nation to a victory over Zimbabwe by scoring twice.

“It was not an easy match especially when you consider that we had to come from behind. Our teamwork and team spirit are what got us this result and we will approach the next match the same way.”

Meanwhile, Senegal’s ambitions of progressing to the knockout phase are still on track despite drawing 0-0 with their West African rivals, Guinea in their second Group B match on Friday.

The Lions of Teranga, who are one of the tournament favourites, are placed second on the group standings – level on points with Guinea, and a victory over Malawi will earn them a place in the Last 16.

Aliou Cisse, the Senegal head coach, was satisfied with a stalemate against Guinea and he feels that they can build from the draw as they take aim at Malawi.

“I am satisfied with the draw today against Guinea as we came back stronger in the second half, unlike the first half where we were not perfect,” Cisse told CAF Online.

“Guinea played a perfect game and we have to commend them but now we go back and work to ensure we get three points from our next opponents Malawi.

“The competition has good teams and even though many people expect us to win all games our ambitions remain the same and we want to build from the draw.”

The last meeting between Malawi and Senegal was on 14 July 2021.

Senegal secured a 2-1 win over Malawi in the 2021 Cosafa Cup match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in South Africa.

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