Mtawali declared in a post match interview aired Monday on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC Sport) that his side is still in the race for Senegal 2015 finals despite going down 2-1 at home to Zambia in first leg encounter.
Zambia carried the day Saturday through first half goals scored by Larry Bwalya in the 13th minute and Charles Zulu in 30th minute but Malawi pulled one back from the spot kick through talisman Chawanangwa Kawonga in the 36th minute.
Mtawali said he knew where things went wrong citing his side lacklustre performance in the first half which he says did not live up to the expectation.
“It means it’s a wakeup call for us. May be we thought we were in comfort zone. They came here they played well. This was our worst game so far especially in the first half,” he said.
He acknowledged though that his charges clawed back in the game during the second half and must maintain such momentum (second half drive) to pull off the required result.
“We need to wake up and we’re going to do just that. I know my players are capable and we are going to get a result in Zambia,” he said.
He says his side will thoroughly prepare and treat the return leg encounter like a cup final.
“We will need to prepare. It will take a lot of hard work and discipline. Zambia is a good side and they have shown that. It is going to be tough like other [previous] games [in the tournament].
But this one is equally going to be very tough because we’ve conceded two goals at home. We will need to go there to score two or three goals and we must not concede,” he explained.
Previously during the first preliminary encounters, the Junior Flames drew 1-1 with Botswana in Blantyre and demolished the Tswanas 2-0 away in Gaborone.
Again in the second preliminary games, they (the Junior Flames) tied with Democratic Republic of Congo 1-1 and downed them 2-0 away.
Earlier before the game Mtawali described the Junior Chipolopolo as “a ruthless” that needed to be dealt with on Malawi’s own backyard.
Following a 2-1 loss on their own home turf the Junior Flames have mountain to climb in the return leg.
But if the outcome of previous preliminary encounters in the same tournament is anything to go by Mtawali has a good reason not to throw in the towel on possibility of getting a result in Lusaka in fortnight time.