AFCON 2021: Malawi Come From Behind to Beat Zimbabwe Thanks to a Gabadinho Mhango Brace
- Malawi dug deep to beat Zimbabwe 2-1 in an entertaining African Cup of Nations game to go 3rd in Group B
- Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhando scored twice to give Malawi a deserved win over Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe took the lead thanks to Ishmael Wadi but 2 goals from Gabadinho Mhango secured a win for Malawi
Malawi recorded their first win of AFCON 2021 when they beat Zimbabwe 2-1 in an entertaining encounter at the Kouekong Stadium, Cameroon.
Malawi had to work hard for the win and came from behind to beat The Warriors thanks to two goals from Orlando Pirates striker, Gabadinho Mhango.
Both teams needed a win to keep their hopes alive in the competition and that was evident in which the game started.
It was a frenetic start to the game which saw both teams give away the ball quite often in the first ten minutes.
Stanley Sanudi had the first real chance of the game for Malawi but sent his volley into the stands from a difficult angle.
Zimbabwe then began to dominate possession and had the best chances to take the lead but couldn't convert any of them.
Ishmael Wadi missed two opportunities to put the Warriors in the lead but couldn't find the perfect finish on either occasion.
Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza was animated on the touchline, upset that his team didn't do more to capitalise on their chances.
That changed in the 39th minute when smart passing by Zimbabwe's midfielders allowed Onismor Bhasera to put in a delightful cross from the left flank which Wadi headed in. Ironically it was his most difficult chance which he put away. Wadi became only the third Zimbabwean player to score at an AFCON tournament as well.
Zimbabwe's lead didn't last long though and in the 43rd minute, Franciso Madinga put a cross into the box which Mhango smartly finished to draw Malawi level. Both teams went into the halftime break having scored one each.
Madinga then had the best chance of the second half as his 49th-minute strike shaved the post as it went out. In the 55th minute, Zimbabwe almost stole the lead but couldn't put away a mad scramble in the box.
Malawi pounced on those missed opportunities and took the lead in the 58th minute when Mhango struck again. Zimbabwean defender Teenage Hadebe was hesitant to clear the ball in the box, hoping that his keeper Petros Mhari would claim it. Mhango pounced on that hesitancy and stole past Hadebe to chip the ball over a charging Mhari.
Zimbabwe tried in vain to get an equaliser but couldn't make the most of the few chances they had.
Malawi hung onto a win to claim third place in Group B.
AFCON 2021: Points shared as Senegal and Guinea play out a very boring draw
In other African Cup of Nations news, the keenly-anticipated clash between Senegal and Guinea was a forgettable one as the match ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw, Sports Brief earlier reported.
The Group B match played out at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam, with Liverpool teammates Sadio Mane and Naby Keita locking horns for the Lions of Teranga and the National Elephants respectively.
Senegal came into the match on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zimbabwe courtesy of a last-minute Sadio Mane penalty. Guinea edged past Malawi with the same scoreline, when Issiaga Sylla scored.
Source: Sports Brief News