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Sunday, October 1, 2023

COSAFA Cup: Defending champions Zambia go down to inspired Malawi

Photo Credit: COSAFA Media

Malawi overcame neighbors Zambia by a 1-0 score in Thursday’s second match at the 2023 COSAFA Cup to join Comoros at the top of Group B. An own goal from Zambia defender Aaron Katebe was the difference between the two teams in a fiercely contested match that saw the Flames surprise the Chipolopolo who could not recover from a slow start. Zambia will face Comoros next on Sunday and Malawi will look to secure a place in the knockout stage against minnows Seychelles.

The first half featured plenty of action and it was the Flames who snatched control with a squad that is well balanced between an experienced defense and talented young attackers. Disaster struck for Zambia in the 17th minute when Katebe was bumped by his own teammate while attempting to head away a Robert Saizi corner kick, causing Katebe’s header to go back past goalkeeper Lawrence Mulenga and into his own goal.

Zambia recovered a bit as the match became an even battle. Kelvin Kampamba fired a curling shot wide in the 28th minute and Moyela Libamba nearly struck in the final moments of the first half but Malawi keeper Brighton Munthali produced his best to tip the effort over.

In the second half Zambia controlled the ball more but lacked the cutting edge needed to break down the Malawian defense. Munthali and his defense anchored by 2021 Africa Cup of Nations veterans Stanley Sanudi and Dennis Chembezi kept the Chipolopolo attack from producing any clear cut chances and the Flames held on for an important victory to open their campaign.

Highlights from COSAFA TV are below.