Malawi’s national soccer team nicknamed the flames are among the twenty fours teams participating in the Africa Cup of Nations being hosted by Cameroon. The flames are back after a decade of absence at Africa’s biggest soccer tournament the African Cup of Nations (Afcon).
The flames qualification for Afcon was tough and hard fought till the very last deciding match. The campaign started at Kamuzu Stadium when Malawi hosted South Sudan and won one nil. The second match was an away encounter in kampala where flames lost two nil against Uganda.
To end the first round of qualifications and begin the second round. The flames had to play two back to back matches against Burkina faso. The first match was an away match where flames lost three – one to Burkina faso and four days later hosted Burkina faso at home and the match ended in a 0-0 draw. It was a tense moment for the flames losing one more match meant they are out.
The flames needed to win the last to two matches at all cost to ensure they qualify for Afcon. The flames traveled all the way to Khartoum, Sudan due to the political situation in Juba thats why the match had to be played in Khartoum where the flames managed to win one nil against South Sudan.
Finally the deciding final match was between the flames and Uganda. Uganda was in need of a draw and the flames needed a win to qualify. The final battle ground was at Kamuzu Stadium where the flames enjoyed home advantage. Flames won the final game through Richard Mbulu’s header in the 16th minute against a highly energetic Uganda team featuring Denis Onyango Africa’s number one goalkeeper. But at the end of the day flames qualification to the Afcon 2021 edition was done and sealed.
Flames fast facts
- Afcon appearance 1984, 2010, 2021.
- Flames highest achievement bronze medalist at the All Africa games in Nairobi 1987.
- Worst match flames lost 12-0 to Ghana in 1964
- Best result Flames beat Djibouti 8-1 in May 2008.
- Cecaf championship winners 1978, 1979, 1988.
- Cosafa cup runners up 2002, 2003.
We wish the flames of Malawi all the best at the Africa Cup of Nations. Flames are in group which consists of Malawi, Guinea-Conakry, Senegal and Zimbabwe.