Game plan well executed— Mabedi
Following the win, the Flames are third in Group H with three points at par with Tunisia, who defeated Sao Tome and Principe 4-0 in their opening match on Friday. However, the Flames and Tunisia will meet at Bingu National Stadium on Tuesday. Mabedi said the win over Liberia was water under the bridge as they face Tunisia on Tuesday.
Malawi National Football Team Coach Patrick Mabedi has said his tactics were spot on as his charges registered their first ever victory on West African soil after beating Liberia’s The Lone Stars 1-0 at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium in Monrovia on Friday night.
Chifundo Mphasi scored the only goal of the match. Following the win, the Flames are third in Group H with three points at par with Tunisia, who defeated Sao Tome and Principe 4-0 in their opening match on Friday.
Equatorial Guinea are second with three points as well after they beat Namibia in Malabo on Wednesday.
However, the Flames and Tunisia will meet at Bingu National Stadium on Tuesday.
In a post-match interview on Friday, Mabedi heaped praise on his charges for the victory.
“We had a game plan. We knew playing away is difficult and they expected us to sit back. We told the players to go flat out and we put them on the back foot, that helped us a lot,” Mabedi said.
Mabedi said the win over Liberia was water under the bridge as they face Tunisia on Tuesday.
“We do not have enough time to celebrate the win. We need to focus on the game against Tunisia. We are traveling and we need to do recovery so that we are ready for the game on Tuesday,” the former Flames and Kaizer Chiefs defender said.
The Flames have not lost a match in open play under the tutelage of Mabedi. Against Liberia, Mabedi handed Kamuzu Barracks striker Olson Kanjira debut.
However, Kanjira as a lone striker, struggled and was replaced by Christopher Kumwembe at the break.
“The game was too big for him. He was a little bit shaky but we did well to give him a chance to play and I strongly believe he is a good player,” Mabedi said.
Against Liberia, the Flames dominated the match but wasted several scoring opportunities especially in the first half. Sports analyst Sherry Msuku believes the Flames can pull a surprise against Tunisia.
“The Flames must utilise home advantage in the qualifiers. Tunisia are a good team but with a good game plan, we can get a positive result,” Msuku said.
Group winners will automatically qualify for the World Cup finals whereas four overall best runners-up will qualify for the play-offs.