BY STEVEN WYSON
Malawi national football team coach Meck Mwase says he wants his charges to be ruthless in the final third when the Flames begin Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers slated for next month.
The Flames will begin the 2021 Afcon campaign against South Sudan at home before playing away in Uganda’s capital-Kampala-between November 11-19.
Mwase said he was focusing on working on his troops to have a fearless heart in front of goal in the Afcon qualifiers.
“Scoring has been our major problem as a nation but we are working on it. In big competitions like the Afcon, we need to utilise chances we create because we will be facing well organised teams which will not be easy to open their defence. But we have hope that very soon, our strikers will be bagging in more goals in a match.
“We have also noted that the strikers struggle to get goals because sometimes we are not creative. They also give too much respect to opponents,” Mwase said.
Since his appointment as Flames coach this year, Mwase has continued to overlook some players such as Schumacher Kuwali and Gastin Sinkonda whereas
TNM Super League leading goal scorer Khuda Muyaba continues to be sidelined due off the pitch incidents.
However, Mwase backed his decision to exclude some players saying they would be considered in the upcoming games.
One of the local coaches, Thom Mkolongo said the country should focus on grooming strikers to address the problem.
“The main problem is background of our strikers even in the TNM Super League they struggle to score goals so we cannot expect them to do better at international level. Most of our strikers panic in the box so we need to start grooming them at a very tender age,” he said.
In the friendly match against Lesotho which ended 1-1 in Maseru, Lesotho last Sunday, Mwase featured five foreign-based players namely Gabadihno Mhango, Richard Mbulu, Gerald Phiri Junior, Robin Ngalande and John Banda.
But Lesotho excluded all foreign based players as they were preparing for Chan match against Zimbabwe. The Flames have also qualified for the group stages of the 2022 Qatar World Cup after eliminating Botswana 1-0 on aggregate.