flames ready to ignite
The Flames of Malawi have lined up three international friendlies to sharpen the team ahead of their do-or-die qualifier for the 2010 World Cup/MTN Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Kinnah Phiri's team - made up of South Africa-based players - will play against Bafana Bafana at Germiston Stadium on September 30.
"We are also finalising a deal to play two more games, with one against Tanzania. The other one will either be against Zambia or Rwanda. We are still waiting for confirmation."
The Flames have to beat DR Congo at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on October 11 to qualify for the Afcon finals.
"All that is needed is a win. Congo beat us with a last-minute penalty in the first leg when we were still looking for a winning combination," said Phiri.
Malawi have done well in the qualifiers, hammering Djibouti 8-1, beating reigning champions Egypt 1-0 at home before losing 1-0 and 2-0 away to Congo and Egypt respectively.
Second-placed Congo and Malawi, who are third on the log, have nine points each, with The Pharaohs topping the group on 12 points.
"Malawi have produced great players all over the world and it's about time that we qualify for the finals again," added Phiri.
The last time Malawi qualified for the Afcon finals was in Ivory Coast in 1984.
Bafana Bafana, who will use locally-based players, will also use the game to prepare for the insignificant October 10 qualifier against Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.
The Malawi team is: Goalkeepers - Swadick Sanudi (Dynamos, South Africa), Trust Lunda (Bullets), Fiskani Mwafulirwa (Civo United), Dave Mphaya (Escom United), Varis Kamzere (MTL Wanderers);
Defenders: Elvis Kafoteka, Jacob Ngwira (Escom United), Godfrey Banda, Lesley Tamutamu (Silver Strikers), Benard Kalirani, Harry Nyirenda, Foster Namwela (MTL Wanderers), Chiku Kanyenda (Bullets FC), James Sangala (free agent), Elias Tsabalaka (Escom United), Wisdom Ndlovu (Young Africans, Tanzania), Peter Mponda (Black Leopards, South Africa), Moses Chavula (Nathi Lions, South Africa);
Midfielders: Dave Banda (Red Lions), Charles Kalaile (Bullets), Clement Mvula (Tigers), Peter Mwenda (Eagle Strikers), Blessings Kawanga (Michiru Castles), Raquub Milanzi (Caps United, Zimbabwe), Joseph Kamwendo (Orlando Pirates), Robert Ng'ambi (Black Leopards), Tawonga Chimodzi (Engen Santos, South Africa), Noel Mkandawire (Escom United), Anthony Banda (Eagle Beaks), Chikondi Kadzombe (Molese, UK), Dan Chitsulo (Weiss Ahlen, Germany), Hellings Mwakasungula (unattached).