Malawi halt Rising Stars flight to lift Four Nations trophy


FOOTBALL Malawi halt Rising Stars flight to lift Four Nations trophy

Festus Chuma 17:57 - 24.03.2024

Malawi U-20 avenged their seniors' 4-0 loss to Harambee Stars by defeating Kenya's Rising Stars in match played on Sunday.

The Junior Flames of Malawi defeated the Kenya U-20 national team, the Rising Stars 3-1 to win the Four Nations friendly tournament trophy at Silver Stadium in Lilongwe on Sunday afternoon.

Rising Stars coach Antony Akhulia fielded the same strong starting lineup that defeated Zimbabwe in the opener, including Timothy Ouma, Christopher Koloti, Linus Munyao, and Hassan Kitsao.

Malawi counterpart Bob Mpinganjira named an exciting XI that included the youth of Soche Madrid's Safuli Mdalitso and Mighty Mukuru Wanderers Reserve's Chifuniro Kamenya in a midfield as well as in the attack .

Following a confident start from Malawi, the hosts could have gone in front inside the opening ten minutes when Emmanuel Savieli's thunderous shot was saved by Issa Emuria.

Rising Stars again had the keeper to thank again from the resulting corner as Emuria blocked Safuli Mdalitso's close-range effort.

Mdalitso was proving the focal point for all of Malawi’s attacking play in the first half and the striker went close in the 22nd minute, flashing a snapshot just wide of the right post after some good build-up play.

But Kenya looked dangerous on the break and the nearly found the back on the net as Hassan Beja missed an excellent chance for an opener.

Malawi continued to attack and they managed to grab the lead in the 36th minute of the game when Emmanuel Savieli scored from close range, making it 1-0 to the hosts.

Christopher Koloti had a chance to level the score in the 42nd minute when the AFC Leopards attacker was played through on goal by Opande Faiz, but he was ruled offside.

However, the hosts extended their lead at the stroke of halftime with Kamenya Chifulino sending a powerful shot past Emuria to make it 2-0.

Rising Stars head coach Antony Akhulia made two tactical changes at the beginning of the second-half bringing in Rabok Ryan and Suphas Onguo for Timothy Ouma and Christopher Koloti respectively.

Stanely Omondi run onto Ryan's cross from a free-kick and the former unleashed a low shot which was blocked inside the Malawi box.

In the 58th minute Kenya made another double substitution, bringing off Hassan Kitsao and Linus Munyao to introduce Paul Ochuoga and Dalphane Ezekiah onto the pitch.

Migori Youth attacker Elly Owande received the ball inside the Junior Flames box six minutes later and he forced Sande into a low save as the visitors searched for the equalising goal.

However, Rising Stars pulled one back through Emuri in the 64th minute after connecting a beautiful cross laid by Paul Ochuoga.

In the 72nd minute, Mnyamane chipped the ball into Malawi box for his but Malawi keeper Sande came out to make an easy save.

The shot-stopper then produced a great save to deny Dalphane Ezekiah a late equalizer with ten minutes left on the clock, and the hosts scored a last-minute goal to ensure that Malawi walked away as 3-1 winners on the day.

How they lined up:

Malawi: Amos Sande, Hermans Masinja, Tebulo Kondwani, Edward Thengo, Jaziya Washali, Oscar Petulo, Safuli Mdalitso, Francis Malikebu, Daniel Kudonto, Emmanuel Savieli, Kamenya Chifulino

Kenya: Issa Emuria, Ochieng Baron, Masinza Junior, Opande Faiz, Suleiman Manzur, Omondi Stanley, Owande Elly, Ouma Timothy, Koloti Christopher, Munyao Linus, Kitsao Hassan