The Malawi National Football Team, the Flames, failed to reach the finals of the 2023 Hollywoodbet COSAFA cup after loosing to Lesotho 3-0 on post-match penalties at king zwelithin stadium in Durban South Africa on Friday afternoon.
The Flames went into the match oozing with confidence following their impressive performances in the group stages where they won three games out of three, managed to score five goals and did not concede any goal. But they were taken by surprise by a stubborn Lesotho who have reached the COSAFA cup finals for the second time in their history.
Lesotho was first to score in the 17th minute through Jane Thabantso following some poor defending from the Flames. It did not take long for the Flames to get an equalizer as inform striker Chawanangwa Kaonga scored from the spot in the 23rd minute following a hand in the box by Lesotho defender.
Lesotho defender, Motlomelo Mkwanazi was shown a red card in the 45th minute following some rough play. At half-time the game was 1-1.
The second half had nothing exciting, as the Flames failed to take advantage of the red card given to Lesotho. At regulation time the game ended 1-1 and penalties had to decide who will make it to the final. Malawi missed all its three penalties which were taken by Stanley Sanudi, Chimwemwe Idana and Patrick Macheso while Lesotho converted all three of their penalties which were taken by Jane thabantso, Sera Motebang and Sekhoane Moerane.
After post-match penalties it was Malawi 0 Lesotho 3 and Lesotho proceed to the final to meet Zambia who beat South Africa 2-1 in another semi-final battle at King Zwelithin stadium in Durban South Africa.
Chimwemwe Idana was voted as the man of the match.
Speaking after the game Malawi head coach Patrick Mabedi praised his players for their hard work and impressive performances
‘’My players did their best, at some point we struggled and failed to penetrate the Lesotho defense as they sat deep. We missed some opportunities, because we were not composed. Sometimes you need to be patient and not be rushing. But we did what we could, it was not just our day. Explained Mabedi.