Anger, disappointment and frustration
marked a bad Saturday for Malawi
national football team supporters who
demanded the instant dismissal of
team head coach Young Chimodzi,
accusing him of running short of ideas
as his charges were defeated by
Zimbabwe 2-1 in their opening Group L
qualifier for the 2017 Africa Cup of
Nations match played at Kamuzu
Stadium in Blantyre.
The fans were angered with Chimodzi’s
questionable substitution of hard-
working striker Zicco Mkanda for Esau
Kanyenda while leaving on the pitch
anonymous Atusaye Nyondo.
Right back John Lanjesi was also pulled
out for blunder-prone defender Lucky
Malata, who eventually misplaced a
pass onto the path of Billiat.
The Mamelodi Sundowns man – whose
grandparents were from Malawi – sped
clear on the left before stabbing his
shot to the top right corner to stun the
home fans for a winner even minutes
before the end.
Despite going into the game amid
financial problems and enduring a bus
break-down on Friday afternoon while
travelling to Blantyre, it was Zimbabwe
that had a dream start.
From the first whistle, the visitors won
three consecutive corner kicks. The
Warriors eventually got a reward when
Cuthbert Malajila made the most of
Malawi defender Harry Nyirenda’s
blunder to score in the 20th minute but
the hosts hit straight back and Davi
Banda restored parity a minute later.
The game looked headed for a draw
when Billiat produced the moment of
the match when he beat McDonald
Harawa with a wonderful left-footed
It was a wonderful goal that not only
caught Harawa by surprise, but Billiat
also looked stunned as well after
The angry fans, who converged behind
the Kamuzu Stadium VIP second and
voiced out their frustration, saying they
have lost confidence in the Flames
“What is wrong with the players?
These are the same players that
performed wonders during the just
ended Cosafa Cup. Why did the coach
remove Lanjesi for Malata who is the
natural right back,” quizzed an angry
fan clad in national colours.
“Chimodzi he must go,” shouted
another man in anger.
Some sections of the supported of
hurled insults to the players as their
bus left the stadium. And Malawians
chanted in praise of Zimbabwe players.
Zimbabwe online media, Zim Eye:
poked fun of Malawi, reporting that the
Warriors “thumbed Malawi on their
It reported: “Zimbabwe romped to
victory Saturday afternoon scoring a
thunderous 2-1 against the Nyasa
“Even though the boys came by a
broken bus, their misfortune could not
stop them from exhibiting their might
as the ‘Original Core Rhodesians, as the
two countries were once before The
Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation.”
The future of Flames technical panel is
at stake as a 2-1 loss in the hands of
the visiting Warriors of has forced
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to
hold an emergency meeting on Sunday
14th June 2015.
FAM Chief Executive Officer Suzgo
Nyirenda confirmed the meeting,
saying Malawians are devastated with
the loss to Zimbabwe.
” We never expected to lose this game
therefore we are holding an Emergency
executive meeting at Chiwembe on
Sunday at 8:00am to map the way
forward” said Nyirenda adding that the
meeting will be centred on the
performance of the Flames coaches.
According to the Fam CEO, the future of
the coaches will depend on the targets
they were given.
Flames coach Young Chimodzi and his
Assistant Jack Chamangwana failed the
first test they were given by Fam.
FAM gave them a target of winning the
Cosafa Cup and earns the Flames
African Cup of Nations qualification.
Several Malawians are calling upon for
the firing of the entire technical panel
and others even made slurs that FAM
should hire Malawi Queens coach Peace
Chawinga Kalua to translate the netball
squad’s success into the football team.
And Chimodzi conceded he made
“We thought we were operating as we
usually do that is why I made those
substitutions,” Chimodzi said.
“We didn’t play as expected and that
was bad to us,” said Chimodzi after the
match. “We were a bit nervous, we had
no patience and that cost us the
Malawi’s next game is against
Swaziland who won against 2-1 at
home Guinea on Friday and Chimodzi
said: “It is very tough now, but we still
have to fight to the end”
Zimbabwe coach Kalisto Pasuwa said
his team had put all their problems
aside to secure a good kick start of
their Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
“We need to bring Zimbabwean people
together to help improve our football.
We wanted to put our country on the
map. We are having problems but let’s
consider our country in terms of
football,” said Pasuwa.
Zimbabwe team had initially refused to
travel, citing concerns that they would
not receive their money from the cash-
strapped Zimbabwe Football
Walter Magaya, the Prophetic Healing
and Deliverance Ministries leader,
stepped in to cover the $42,000
needed to cover the trip to Malawi.
Zimbabwe and Swaziland are now tied
on three points each on top of Group L.
The other teams in the group are
Guinea and Swaziland.
Only one team from the group qualifies
for the finals to be held in Gabon in
January 2017. –Additional reporting by
Elijah Phimbi, Nyasa Times
Anger, disappointment and frustration