The Flames have stepped up their preparations for the build-up battle against the Taifa Stars at Benjamin Mkapa on June 13
Malawi have received a major boost with the arrival of their foreign-based players as they prepare to face Tanzania in a friendly on June 13.
The Flames will make the trip to Dar es Salaam to face the Taifa Stars at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium and on Thursday, most of their foreign-based players, led by Moldova-based duo Peter Banda and Charles Petro, arrived in Lilongwe to start preparations for the match.
Apart from the duo, other professionals who made it to camp after being named in the squad by coach Meck Mwase are defender Dennis Chembezi and striker Khuda Muyaba, who play for South African First Division side Polokwane City.
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However, the Flames have suffered a blow in their build-up to the game after Nyasa Big Bullets defender Precious Sambani and Georgia-based midfielder Francisco Madinga were ruled out.
Sambani suffered a knee injury in the Bullets’ Super League encounter against Ekwendeni Hammers on Saturday while Madinga will not be able to travel out of Georgia due to the country’s Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In their absence, coach Mwase has since called up Hammers defender Eric Kaonga and Be Forward Wanderers midfielder Vitumbiko Kumwenda to replace Sambani and Madinga, respectively.
In Tanzania, the Taifa Stars have also stepped up training for the friendly with coach Kim Poulsen naming a strong squad for the fixture.
Paulsen recalled seven players from Tanzania champions Simba SC who impressed in the Caf Champions League before being eliminated by Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-final.
Despite his patchy form, Yanga SC goalkeeper Metacha Mnata was named in the provisional squad while Simba SC veteran Erasto Nyoni was also considered alongside Kennedy Juma, who has found regular playing time a challenge at Wekundu wa Msimbazi.
The match against the Flames will be a fourth match for the 62-year-old, who took over from Etienne Ndayiragije after the African Nations Championship, where the East Africans performed dismally.
He has since been in charge of three matches, a friendly game against Kenya where he lost 2-1 before falling by a solitary goal away to Equatorial Guinea in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
His only win, by a solitary goal as well, came at home over Libya in the aforementioned competition.
Malawi are among the teams that qualified for Afcon finals in Cameroon after claiming a 1-0 win in their last group game against Uganda.
Below is the full squad for Zambia:
Brighton Munthali – Silver Strikers
William Thole – Be Forward Wanderers
Ernest Kakhobwe – Nyasa Big Bullets
Stanely Sanudi – Be Forward Wanderers
Peter Cholopi – Be Forward Wanderers
Eric Kaonga – Ekwendeni Hammers
Nixon Nyasulu – Nyasa Big Bullets
Nickson Mwase – Civo Sporting
Limbikani Mzava – AmaZulu (Captain)
Dennis Chembezi – Polokwane City
Charles Petro – FC Sherrif
Paul Ndlobvu – MAFCO
Chikoti Chirwa – Red Lions
Rafik Namwera – Be Forward Wanderers
Chimwemwe Idana – Nyasa Big Bullets
John Banda – UD Songo
Yamikani Chester – Be Forward Wanderers
Gerald Phiri Jnr – Baroka FC
Vitumbiko Kumwenda – Be Forward Wanderers
Tawonga Chimodzi – Omonia Aradippou,
Vincent Nyangulu – Be Forward Wanderers
Gabadinho Mhango – Orlando Pirates
Khuda Muyaba – Polokwane FC
Richard Mbulu – Baroka FC