By Afeseh Apong
The Flames of Malawi had their best ever performance at the Africa Nations Cup, when they reach the eighth final of the ongoing 33rd edition of the tournament in Cameroon. Mario Marinica’s side put up a spirited performance against the Atlas Lions of Morocco, but Achraf Hakimi’s 70th minute free kick Signalled the end of the road for Malawi who were making just their third appearance at the continental football jamboree.
An improved performance as compared to their two previous stints in 1984 and 2010 where the flames exited at the group stage, finishing bottom of their group in both editions.
AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, apart from it’s many surprises, was also an occasion to discover continental footballing talents and of course Malawi’s Gabadinho Mhango is certainly one who is leaving the competition with a positive note.
Though at 29, the Orlando Pirates forward showed his brilliance and qualities, during his country’s four games.
Mhango’s two goals against Zimbabwe at the Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium, were crucial in taking Malawi to the round of 16. His screamer that gave the flames the lead against Morocco at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium on Tuesday, is probably a goal of the tournament contender. His goal against Morocco, took his competition tally to three goals, which puts him as Malawi’s top scorer in the final phase of the Africa Nations Cup.
Mhango has now beaten Russell Mwafulirwa’s two goals scored in the 2010 edition in Angola, which till date, stood as the highest number of goals scored by a Malawian in a single AFCON edition.
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