Malawi National Football Team, the Flames lost 0-4 to Egypt’s Pharaohs in the return leg of TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Group D qualifier at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The Flames head coach Mario Marinica made five changes to the squad that lost 2-0 to the Pharaohs four days ago in Cairo.
Striker Stain Davie, attackers Yamikani Chester, Peter Banda and left back Alick Lungu, who were not in the starting XI last Friday, started in this match.
Right back Stanley Sanudi, who was suspended in the first leg, also returned to the first XI.
Marinica however, maintained goalkeeper Charles Thom, centre backs Dennis Chembezi and Lawrence Chaziya.
Captain John CJ Banda also maintained his positon just like Frank Gabadinho Mhango.
It was meant to be an attacking formation since the Flames were playing at home, but everything went berserk just three minutes into the match when the visitors surprised the Flames with an early goal.
Liverpool forward Mohammed Salah set up Tarek Hamed’s opener with his outside the box shot which caught the Flames defence unawares.
Marinica immediately took out Peter Banda who got injured for Chimwemwe Idana.
Omar Marmoush made it 2-0 after taking advantage of a poorly cleared corner by Malawi’s defence, slotting it home from close range in the 16th minute.
Then the Liverpool star made it 3-0 after exchanging a one-two with Mostafa Mohamed before drilling a low first-time volley past goalkeeper Charles Thom.
Malawi’s biggest threat came from Stain Davie, who came close to scoring twice but missed the mark on his first attempt and was denied by a last-minute tackle from Ahmed Hegazy in the 30th minute.
Just like at the beginning of the match, the visitors started the second half strongly again, netting the fourth in the 49th minute when Ahmed Sayed slipped past Malawi’s centre backs to score the fourth off a low cross from Mohamed Hany.
Flames coach Marinica made some substitutions deep in the second half. He brought in Micium Mhone after taking out Idana.
Goalkeeper Brighton Munthali replaced Thom while Gaddie Chirwa came in for Davie.
The substitutions seemed to have brought some stability as Malawi picked the pace and dominated possession.
Later on Marinica also brought in Khuda Myaba to replace Chester.
But the damage had already been done in the first half as Malawi succumbed to a humiliating home defeat.
Malawi’s next assignment in the qualifiers is against Guinea at home and away Ethiopia in June 2023.