Malawi have seen a marked improvement in their performances over the last few years, leading to them qualifying for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.
They exited the tournament in Angola in the first round, just as they had done in their only other visit to the continental showpiece in 1984.
Long-standing coach Kinnah Phiri has recently been replaced by Edington Ng’onamo.
Malawi Cosafa Cup record
Malawi have been runners-up in two Cosafa Cup competitions, reaching the final for the first time in 2002 and then making the decider again the following year.
Although they were beaten in both legs of the finals by South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively, the Flames have shown they are building a side to be reckoned with in the future.
Malawi did beat past winners Angola and Zambia on their way to the final in 2002 and the next year disposed of Zambia again on penalties in the semifinals.
Malawi have a strong record in regional competition, having won the East and Central African Senior Challenge Cup three times – in 1978, 1979 and 1988.
Now the landlocked country is part of Cosafa and has been eager participants in the Cosafa Cup and Cosafa Senior Challenge, playing in all previous editions.
Malawi have also qualified for the African Nations Cup finals once before – in Cote d’Ivoire in 1984 and were bronze medallists at the 1987 All-Africa Games in Nairobi.
They lost 1-0 to Mozambique in the quarterfinals of the Cosafa Senior Challenge in 2009.