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Flames leave for Cosafa Thursday

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The Malawi national football team leaves Thursday for South Africa ahead of their Cosafa Cup quarter-final clash with Mozambique on Sunday.


The Flames were initially scheduled to travel to the Rainbow Nation on Tuesday by road.


However, the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has disclosed that there has been a slight change of travel plans, with the team now slated to fly out to South Africa on Thursday.


According to FAM competitions manager Gomezgani Zakazaka, Young Chimodzi’s charges will log horns with Bafana Bafana on Friday in what has been arranged as a strength-testing friendly training match.


Malawi will then face fellow seeds Mozambique in the Cosafa Cup last-eight two days later for a place in the semi-finals of the regional competition.


Zambia are the defending champions of the tournament.


Malawi has never won the Cosafa Cup but has twice finished as runners-up in Southern Africa’s elite national team competition.


After the disappointment of missing out on the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification, FAM set Chimodzi and his deputy Jack Chamangwana a target of guiding the Flames to their maiden tournament triumph.


However, the coaching panel’s task has been made even more difficult with the exclusion of a number of the team’s key senior players.


South African based defender Harry Nyirenda who plays for Black Leopards in the National First Division will not make the trip as he is out injured.


Bloemfontein Celtic striker Gabadinho Mhango is also out on medical grounds as he is set to under-go surgery on a persistent injury.


Captain Joseph Kamwendo is another absentee after being ruled out of action due to club commitments – he plays for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) side TP Mazembe.

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