Malawi national football team on Tuesday shrugged off flight hiccups to draw one-all against Sierra Leone in an international friendly match played at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.
The team had to use a provisional squad after their luggage went missing upon arrival at the Atlantic Ocean port city.
From Blantyre to Ghana the uniforms were taken as hand luggage, but when connecting to Sierra Leone, the Flames were asked to check in the bags.
“But when arriving in Freetown, the luggage was nowhere to be seen and a provisional uniform was secured for the match,” said FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka.
He said efforts would be made to ensure the team has the official uniform when playing Guinea in the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier on Friday.
Though missing Mozambique-based players Chimango Kayira, John Banda, Zicco Mkanda and Schumacher Kuwali, who had to fly straight to Guinea due to flights connections, coach Ernest Mtawali made the most out of the game.
He used a 4-4-1-1 formation which reportedly proved effective as Jomo Cosmos winger Micium Mhone grabbed the opener after 18 minutes in a move involving midfielders Joseph Kamwendo and Robert Ng’ambi.
But the hosts equalized in the 43rd minute of the first half.
The coach had Brighton Munthali in goals with Francis Mlimbika on the left back while Stanley Sanudi was deployed at the right back.
Harry Nyirenda and Captain Limbikani Mzava manned the central defence with the Black Leopards centre back sweeping.
Kamwendo was deployed in central midfield while Wonder German played a defensive midfielder role.
Mhone played as a right winger while left winger Isaac Kaliyati was on the other flank.
Platinum Stars midfielder Ng’ambi played just behind lone striker Chiukepo Msowoya.
In the 64th minute, Kaliyati was substituted for Yamikani Fodya; Ng’ambi was replaced by Gabadinho Mhango while John Lanjesi came in for Nyirenda.
After the game, coach Mtawali said he is happy with the performance of his team.
He said the team defended well and there was proper inter-unit coordination.
Mtawali also praised senior players Kamwendo and Ng’ambi for a vintage display.
Goalkeeper Munthali also earned praise from the coach for his performance in the training match.
Sierra Leone is currently bottom of Group I behind Sudan and African champions Ivory Coast.
The Flames are presently third in the Group L, above Guinea but below Swaziland and Zimbabwe.