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Early goal from Mbulu makes the difference in Malawi win over Mozambique

Playing their FIFA World Cup qualification second round home opener in Johannesburg, Malawi triumphed over Mozambique 1-0 to keep pace with Group D giants Ivory Coast and Cameroon on Tuesday. Baroka FC forward Richard Mbulu applied the finishing touch early in the first half to lift the Flames to third place in the group and only one point behind group leaders Ivory Coast. Mozambique’s continued struggles to find goals has them in last place with one point from two games.

Once again it was a constant struggle for the Mambas of Mozambique to generate much going forward. All opportunities fell to Malawi, who were not deterred by being forced to host in South Africa and proceeded to be the much more dangerous side. Mozambique’s troubles were increased when they conceded a goal that was mostly self inflicted. In the 10th minute a casual back pass towards Mambas keeper Ernan Siluane was hit with too much pace and bounced over Siluane, causing him to desperately sprint back to clear. The keeper, unsure if the ball was going wide of his goal, got a foot to it but could only touch it into the air in front of the goal as his momentum drove him into the post and out of play. Mbulu followed the play and arrived to head the ball into an empty net to take advantage of the Mozambican calamity.

Malawi probed and probed throughout the ninety minutes for a second, particularly after halftime. Khuda Muyaba had room to shoot after the hour mark from just inside the Mambas penalty area but blasted high and wide. A few minutes later, star forward Gabadinho Mhango made an excellent run from the left flank into the penalty area and faked out a Mozambican defender before his curling effort was excellently kept out by substitute keeper Victor Guambe, who came in at halftime after Siluane suffered an injury hitting the post during the Malawian goal sequence.

Guambe came up with a couple of excellent saves to keep Malawi from doubling their lead, but the attack could not get the job done in finding a leveler. Malawi continue to look capable and will look to carry positive momentum forward against the more regarded sides in Group D.

Highlights of the game are in the link below.

FIFA TV Highlights

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