The Malawi National Football team coach, Patrick Mabedi, has explained that all is not lost in the quest to qualify for the 2026 FIFA world cup despite the Flames 1 nil loss to the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia at the Bingu national stadium in Lilongwe.
The result means the Flames are now on fourth position in group H with three points behind Tunisia who top the group with 6 points seconded by Equatorial Guinea who also have six points and Namibia is on third position with three points, Liberia and Sao Tome and Principe are fifth and sixth respectively with no point.
Addressing journalist after the game, Mabedi explained that he was proud with how his players approached the game.
‘’ It was a good match, we played against a very good side, we competed very well our game plan was good we tried to close the lines and tried to contain them so that we do not give them opportunities in the box, am proud of the boys they did play very well. I think it’s a process where the boys need to learn and grow, but all is not lost we still need to bounce back and continue to try to give them opportunity and give them task day by day
‘’I think we need to understand that we are in a process and for us to compete with teams like Tunisia and to make them run for their money I think that benefits us, we need to face reality, you see as time goes this team will hammer a lot of teams with a lot of goals, but like I said we are in a process to learn because teams like Tunisia if you just make a small mistake they will punish you,’’ explained Mabedi.
The loss is the first one for Mabedi in all competitions since he took over the team
The 2026 FIFA world cup will for the first-time feature 48 teams from 32 and nine African countries are guaranteed to compete in the world cup. The African qualifiers will be played across two rounds. The first will be contested in the form of a group stage, with nine groups of six teams each. Each team will play two matches, home and away, against each of their opponents. The top finisher in each group will qualify for World Cup
The second round will pit the four best runners-up in two one-off semi-finals, followed by a final. The winner of this second round will participate in the FIFA Play-off Tournament.