Mhango Double Keeps Malawi In Hunt For Historic Second-round Place
Faizan Hashmi Published January 15, 2022 | 02:10 AM
Bafoussam, Cameroon, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Jan, 2022 ) :Frank Mhango scored twice as Malawi came from behind to defeat Zimbabwe 2-1 on Friday in the Africa Cup of Nations and keep alive their hopes of reaching the second round for the first time.
Mhango recently returned to action after a lengthy injury layoff and became only the third player after Cameroonians Vincent Aboubakar (twice) and Karl Toko Ekambi to bag a brace so far in this Cup of Nations.
Group winners and runners-up qualify automatically for the round of 16, along with the best four third-placed teams.
After the presence of Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Naby Keita in the first half of a double-header -- a 0-0 draw between Senegal and Guinea -- there were no instantly recognisable Malawi or Zimbabwe stars.
Malawi began with five local players, five based in South Africa and one in Mozambique while Zimbabwe had in forward Tino Kadewere from French club Lyon the only starter from a top-five European league.
After a slow start at the 20,000-capacity Stade Omnisport in the western Cameroon highlands, the game burst into life as half-time approached.
Zimbabwe went ahead on 38 minutes when an Onismor Bhasera cross allowed Wadi to score with a perfectly placed looping header that just eluded the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe.
Malawi, who lost injured captain and defender Limbikani Mzava just before the half-hour, left the field at half-time the happier team having survived several scares.
Mhango struck again on 58 minutes to edge the Flames in front, taking advantage of defensive hesitancy by Teenage Hadebe to push the ball past goalkeeper Petros Mhari.