Striker Gabadinho Mhango scored a brace as Malawi came from behind to beat Zimbabwe 2-1 in an exciting TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations match played at the Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam on Friday.
The COSAFA rivals were looking to salvage their campaign in Group B following defeats in their opening matches.
The two sides went for each other in the opening minutes of the game with action at both ends of the pitch.
Malawi’s Stanley Sanudi had an early chance to put the Flames ahead but his right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right missed the target from Richard Mbulu cross.
Then Zimbabwe’s Gerald Takwara failed to hit the target with an attempt from very close range via Knowledge Musona with a cross.
Francisco Madinga came close to putting his name of the score sheet but was unfortunate to see his long range strike from outside the box hit the woodwork.
Malawi coach Meck Mwase was forced into making an early change bringing on Lawrence Chaziya to replace Limbikani Mzava who sustained an injury.
Zimbabwe eventually broke the deadlock moments before the end of the first half with Ishmael Wadi heading in from a pin point cross by Onismor Bhasera. But the lead did not last very long as Gabadinho Mhango struck from close range to level matters.
The score was 1-1 at half-time.
The second half begun as the first with a lot intensity in attack. Malawi almost went ahead with Francisco Madinga hitting the post for the second time in the match.
Malawi took the lead with Gabadinho Mhango getting his brace with another fine finish in the box. The Orlando Pirates man calmly slotting the ball past keeper Petros Mhari.
Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza, in an attempt to search for the equalizer brought on Admiral Muskwe to replace captain Knowledge Musona.
Malawi held on to claim three points ahead of the final group match against Senegal on Tuesday in Bafoussam. Zimbabwe tackle Guinea in Yaounde.
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