Once Again Malawi 1-2 Zambia

By Burnett Munthali

Not surprising enough Malawi once again got defeated on Tuesday 26 March 2024 by 2-1 at home ground Bingu National Stadium. I remember the Malawian Coach Patrick Mabedi was so hopeful that Malawi would beat Zambia in today’s game to reach third position. But I had a contrary prediction over the same game. I didn’t see Malawi winning against Zambia.

It is not bad to dream for good things. We all must dream for the good things and that is normal in life. Unfortunately in Malawi we dream for good things without a good foundation for which we would like to achieve our goals.


My general analysis in today’s game is just as usual. It was a poor football show for Malawi. The flames conceded two goals in the first half which was not different from the first game they lost against Kenya.

My special observation is that Malawi has repeated the same mistakes today which they did in the previous game. The team conceded two goals within the first half and I would rather say within few seconds. Today it was the same thing, Malawi conceded two goals in the first half. Same mistake repeated. Same weakness displayed.

The first half of today’s football game was particularly very poor for Malawi. They did not show that they wanted to fight for this game, probably they did not have a clear direction how to play against Zambia. In the second half at least I saw a sign of life in the Malawian national team. They came with a different fighting spirit. That was great unfortunately, they couldn’t score.

I think the Malawi team improved after four players were substituted into the game and of course a serious discussion in the dressing room say half time. This brought some kind of energy for the flames. Malawi played fairly well in the second half but as usual they repeatedly failed to score even when scoring chances were available. Malawi still failed to utilize or capitalize on the chances that we were created. Football is about utilizing chances that are created in the game.

This is a major challenge for Malawi national football team. They concede goals quite early into the game in different tournaments before they even settle down. Secondly as a result of conceding early goals they fail to concentrate or maintain the tempo of the game. Actually I think that when Malawi football team plays, it appears to me they are always scared during the game. I may be proven right or wrong but this is my observation.

The major challenge for Malawi football team which I see is, failing to create opportunities to score and failing to score when such opportunities have been created. The other challenge is the team always fails to develop the kind of football they would like to play and maintain throughout 90 minutes.

Finally I would like to say that the coach has been proven wrong once again this time around. Patrick Mabedi promised the team would fight to be on third position after playing against Zambia. But at the end of 90 minutes the opposite is true. Zambia has carried the day and Malawi has fallen to position 4 in this tournament. This means the coach gave false hopes into this game.

Coming to the players I always believe that the major challenge is with the players for the flames We have a team that is not teachable. Different coaches have come and gone employed they keep losing. Malawi football team has always failed to rise to the level of football that supporters would like to see. Even if supporters rally behind the team, the flames always disappoints its supporters.

This is the time I would like once again put across my arguments that we need a lot of time to develop football. As a nation we need to develop football from the grassroots so that we have a football team that can deliver. At one time a member of parliament proposed that Malawi needed to take a break in football for two or three years. I would like to support that idea that we need to take a break in order to develop and raise the standards of our football team.

Otherwise the mistakes that were displayed today are the same mistakes that were displayed during the game against Kenya. They are the same mistakes that have been repeatedly displayed in different games and tournaments as well. And I believe the seme mistakes will be repeated in the near future.

Grassroots football must be developed in schools and colleges throughout the country. Malawi needs to have competitive football trainings and games in schools and colleges whether there will be sponsorship or not. Schools in Malawi must introduce and develop football seriously. I know we cannot afford to establish Football Academies in the country. Definitely there will be so many excuses given towards the construction or building of football academies. That’s why my proposal is that as a country we must use the institutions that are already in place. We have so many primary and secondary schools throughout the country in the remote and Urban areas.

Football teams should be created and trained in all institutions on weekly bases twice in a week. Such an approach to football will take Malawi forward and develop the youth become better players than at have now. We need to develop and encourage children in football from the ages of 12 to 13 years. I believe we can have football players who can endure in the game without developing any fatigue easily as they currently do.

Currently the crop of players that we have become exhausted quite easily. Why is that? It’s because our players do not have endurance training programs in football.