Nov 16, 2023 | News

The Malawi National football team, the Flames, will tomorrow kick start their 2026 FIFA world cup qualifying campaign against Liberia at Samuel Kanyon doe sports complex in Paynesville Monrovia from 6 pm.

The Flames are in group H and will have to battle it out with Namibia, Liberia, Sao Tome e Principe, Tunisia and Equatoria Guinea to book a ticket for the 2026 FIFA world cup finals which will jointly be hosted by three North American countries namely Canada, United States of America and Mexico.

Both teams go into Fridays match off the back of underwhelming campaign in the 2023 Africa Cup of nations

The Flames arrived in Monrovia on Wednesday morning and conducted two training sessions before tomorrow’s game. Flames coach Patrick Mabedi explained that his troops are ready mentally and physically and they are looking forward for the game

‘’ We have watched Liberia’s previous games and they are a very good team, if you give them time and space, they can easily hurt you, but at the same time they are also vulnerable if you take your chances

‘’ We have always had that mind set that when we go to west Africa it’s a problem, and secondly, we do not adjust quickly and we do not manage time during the game and tactically we do not plan very well so, I think its time we adjust in all aspects of our game,’’ explained Mabedi.

This will be the second meeting between the Flames and the Lone Stars of Liberia, the first meeting took place in September 2012 in an international friendly match in Monrovia where Liberia triumphed by a goal to nil.

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.

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