Wednesday 25th November 2015
CECAFA Cup Group C
Bahir Dar Stadium, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Malawi 3-0 Djibouti
It is now two defeats from two for the Riverains de la Mer Rouge (the Shoremen of the Red Sea) in the CECAFA Cup group stages. After defeat to South Sudan on Monday, it was the turn of Malawi to inflict more misery on the small nation of Djibouti – currently ranked by FIFA as the (joint) worst national team in the world.
Malawi are guests at the CECAFA Cup, having taken the place rather late in the day of the absent Eritrean national team, unable to compete in the host nation of Ethiopia. But they are a cut, or two, above the level of Djibouti sadly, and so it proved in Bahir Dar today.
The Flames of Malawi dominated possession from the off, keeping the ball away from the Djibouti players who chased as best they could. Djibouti did manage one or two breaks up field though, with Yabeh Idris Moussa firing a low drive narrowly past the post in the early minutes. That was about as good as it got for Djibouti as Malawi tightened their grip.
There was a let off when John Banda contrived to miss a one-on-one opportunity when put clean through. Djibouti keeper Idriss Abdulahi won that particular exchange, but the resistance was not going to last for long.
In a swift one-two late in the first half, Malawi effectively put the contest out of Djibouti’s reach. First, in the 38th minute they were awarded a penalty.
Gerald Phiri, the son of a former Malawi international, stepped up to convert past Abdulahi to put the Flames ahead. Phiri has recently signed for South African top flight team Bidvest Wits, from Zimbabwe’s CAPS United, which put him on a level beyond anything Djibouti could offer.
Barely two minutes later it was 2-0 when Banda, who had been a threat throughout the first half, doubled Malawi’s advantage. Two down at half-time, and the match was as good as done. Even the dismissal of Malawi’s Schumacher Kuwali in the second half did little to alter the momentum in Djibouti’s favour.
Late in the second half, Malawi added a third through Chiukepo Msowoya and Djibouti’s day was done.
This leaves Djibouti well and truly bottom of the group with the other group match today between Sudan and South Sudan ending in a goallesss draw – a match with greater significance than merely CECAFA Cup credentials.
Ahead of facing Sudan on Friday in their final match, hopes are switching from picking up a draw and the ranking points that would confer, to merely holding on more successfully against a better team, and perhaps grabbing a goal. There has been the odd flash of attacking intent, and Djibouti haven’t been totally outclassed in either match, but there seems little prospect of the being able to get the ranking monkey of their back this week.
Other Group C results:
South Sudan 0-0 Sudan