Young Chimodzi, Malawi coach, has described the Cosafa Cup as a good learning experience for his men for the preparation of Africa Cup of Nation qualifiers. Chimodzi brought a youthful Malawi side with a sprinkling of experience into the tournament and they ended up winning the plate final on Friday with a 1-0 victory over Zambia.
The final plate was held in Friday (29/5) in Royal Bafokeng Stadium and began with restriction to long range efforts, none of which were threatening. It was failed to provide any goal-mouth action until the 30th minute. MukukaMulenga nearly gave Zambia the lead after the 30-minute mark, but his header sailed just wide of the upright.
The sides went to the halftime break with the score locked at 0-0. Zambia continued to search for the opening goal and they went close shortly after the halftime break with Allan Mukuka’s attack. it was Malawi who broke the deadlock in the 59th minute when ZiccoMkanda slotted home.
Malawi were then reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute when Lucky Malata was shown his second yellow card of the game for a challenge on Jackson Mwanza. The Malawians managed to see out the remaining 15 minutes and claim the Plate title.
Malawi, who were better side throughout, were able to comfortably hold on for the win to become the second winners of the Cosafa Cup Plate competition after Mozambique won the inaugural title in Zambia two years ago.
According to the coach, the tournament has given the team a good platform to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nation. We are going to have a good team, looking at the way we performed here. There is a lot we have learned here, especially keeping concentration for the entire 90 minutes because you can tell the players that all you want. But if it happens to them, that is something that will stay with them for a long time.”
On the other hand, there is the stress for the coach concerning LimbikaniMzava and Robert Ng’ambi who are currently out of pitch due to injury. “We are mindful about that,” said Chimodzi. “We know that we needed to have a full strength squad here but if something happened to one of them, we needed to have backup. About Mzava, I think it will be sorted out. About Ng’ambi’s injury, we have got the youngsters who have helped us in this tournament.”