Peter Banda, Mzava and Kakhobwe impresses, sadly Chester hugely disappoints as Flames suffer 1-0 defeat against Guinea in their first group B Game.
By Erik Chiputula:
Malawi suffered a 1-0 defeat to Guinea in their opening match of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals in a match played at Bafoussam stadium in Cameroon on Monday afternoon.
Issiaga Sylla’s 35 minute Sublime strike was enough to hand Malawi first defeat of the tournament.
The Flames appeared to have technically regrouped after conceding but lacked the much needed composure upfront through Yamikani Chester who missed clear chances on three occasion while Limbikani Mzava, Micium Mhone and Peter Banda efforts were denied by an outstanding Guinea goalkeeper Keita.
Despite a defeat some Flames stars like Enerst Kakhobwe, Peter Banda and Limbikani Mzava had excellent performances.
The Atlas Malawi’s Chiputula hands out his ratings on the Flames individual player performances.
Enerst Kakhobwe – 8/10
He conceded after 35 minute when the defence failed to close down a low cross from the right side which found unmarked Sylla who score from close range.
It could have been two at half time but he made a fabulous double save to deny Bayo from scoring in the dying minutes of the first half.
He was able to deal with earial balls and communication with his defenders was good.
Limbikani Mzava – 8/10
Playing at the heart of three man defence, he was very solid despite failing to close down Sylla who scored from his watch.
He kept at bay Guinea strikers in the entire game and nearly scored himself when his 30 mitres drive thunderbolt from a free kick was parried over the bar by Guinea goalie.
Gomezgani Chirwa – 6/10
In an improvised role as a right centre back he remained tactically aware in closing down opponents. His work rate was above average as he provided cover when possession was lost.
His mortal sin was typically failing to man-mark closely a Guinea winger who sent a dangerous cut-back across the face of goal resulting in Guinea’s goal. His trademark overlaps, where he sometimes send tantalizing crosses, was no where to be seen.
Dennis Chembezi – 6/10
Mostly looked composed as a Left Centre-back as he created a roadblock on the left flank.
But his main challenge was to overlap to push Francisco Madinga further forward and at times he was failing to communicate with Madinga.
John Banda – 5/10
He was forced to play deep in his half due to the system used by Meke Mwase.
He made an important block to deny Guenea from extending in the second half but sometimes was failing to cover his defense very well and could hardly found in possession with the ball.
Chimwemwe Idana – 6/10
His main task as a defending midfielder was to shut off Guinea’s attacking midfielder Naby Keita from creating chances which really worked.
His weaknessess were inaccurate and misplaced passes. He opted for long range passes instead of short passes which didn’t work for three times because Guineas were good in the air and quick in covering spaces.
Peter Banda – 8/10
The Simba SC youngster continues to impress with his clever feet.
Fired a curve that Guinea goalie Aly Keita palmed over after 43 minutes and created more chances for the part of Flames including the second half set up to Chester which he failed to beat the goalkeeper in one on one command.
He was always most threatening, the most direct and dangerous until he was subbed.
Francisco Madinga – 6/10
The Georgian based midfielder was given a new role due to the scarce defenders in the team. Madinga as a Left wingback of the day he struggled to track back when he goes for attack. He was nearly conceded a goal when he was watching Guinea player taking shots but thanks to goalkeeper Enerst Kakhobwe who made brilliant double saves.
He missed a great opportunity in the second half which could have been an equaliser but interms of keeping the ball he was good.
Micium Mhone – 6/10
He played as a right side wingback. His shot from a far in the first half which was saved for a corner by Guinea goallie was one of his greatest moments of the game.
He was able to support defender behind him Gomezgan Chirwa but was unable to supply crosses and create chances to his front men.
Khuda Myaba – 6/10
He was nowhere to be seen. He failed to register any shot on target in the entire game and he missed a golden opportunity in the second half when he wanted to score a stylish goal from Peter Banda’s pass.
He struggled to get balls because he was unable to move away from his marker but his presence upfront restricted Guinea defenders from overlapping.
Yamikani Chester – 4/10
Should have done better when he intercepted Guinea defender and run freely into the box in the first half but unbelievably he sent a weak shot straight to the goalkeeper.
Moment later he was set free by John Banda and he failed to put Malawi ahead again when he fallen down with only goalkeeper to beat. He went on missing another opportunity from Peter Banda’s pass in the second half.
He really disappointed Malawians with his misses. He was just good in marking and chasing defenders to close them from building up attacks until he got injured.
Richard Mbulu (on for Chester, 70) – 4/10
Hardly made any impact when introduced. He failed to put the ball in the back of net, when all could do was to simply score.
Zebron Kalima (on for Peter Banda, 83) – 2/10
Was only seen two times with the ball, first he misplaced in a danger zone and the second he dribbled past his marker in left middle.