Carauari By Edwin Mbewe
noisily LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Elephants of Ivory Coast have beaten the Flames of Malawi home and away to shut down all dreams and hopes the Malawians had of qualifying to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Malawi has lost by two goals to one in Benin on Monday,The Ivorians added salt to the fresh wounds which Meck Mwase’s boys sustained at Orlando Stadium in South Africa few days ago where they thrashed them by three goals to nil.
The elephants have scored five goals past Flames and collecting the maximum six points while Malawi has scored once.
Arsenal player Nicole Pepe opened the score sheet at second minute of the first half after the Malawian defender Peter Cholopi failed to clear the ball from the danger zone.
Khuda Muyaba reacted too fast with some brilliant performance at 19th minute, he dribbled past Manchester United defender Eric Bailly before taking a powerful shot with his left foot and Ivory Coast goalie Ghohouo was very far to catch the ball.
First half ended the host one and the visitors one,but Malawi had a grant game in this half despite the host creating scoring chances through former Arsenal attacker Gervinho.
Second half Flames failed to maintain their first half play as they lost possession of the ball so easily sitting in their own half for some time until the Ivorians were awarded a penalty which Franck Kessie scored past Brighton Munthali at 67th minute.
After conceding the goal, Malawi tried to attack but failed to penetrate through the elephants defence as Khuda Muyaba had a huge task playing as a lone striker.At 82nd minutes Dennis Chembezi had a chance to level the score from a Gerald Phiri Jnr’s well taken free kick which was curved in the penalty box,but Chembezi’s near post header was saved for a corner by Ivory Coast goalie,and that was so close.
The referee blew the whistle to end the match and yes the Flames are freezed with their hopes shuttered as they have a mountain to climb now if they are to qualify to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Elephants of Ivory Coast lead group D with ten points now from four games played while the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are second with nine points, Malawi three and Mozambique with a point anchoring the group with same number of games.
Malawi is remaining with two games to wind up the group D Qualifiers, they play Mozambique away before meeting Cameroon at home,the future is now uncertain because even if they win their remaining two games they will have 9 points,one shy of Ivory Coast.