The decision to release defender, Limbikani Mzava and the team’s talismanic striker, Frank Gabadhinho Mhango followed Thursday talks between Malawi FA Chief Executive Officer, Suzgo Nyirenda and senior Celtic officials.
Mzava and Mhango were barred by their club Celtic as it was involved in a Charity Shield tournament on the day Malawi national team faced Benin on the grounds that the game was not on FIFA calendar.
Meanwhile, the Flames assistant coach, Jack Chamangwana has expressed confidence that his charges will turn the tables when the two sides meet in return leg in Blantyre on 2nd August and sail through to the next round.
“The chances of beating Benin are there and the way the boys played [away] it gives us encouragement that they will definitely do well,” said Chimangwana.
During the first leg encounter the Flames used defensive oriented system of 5-4-1 which many say was designed to avoid conceding many goals as the team has poor track record when it plays away games.
But Chamangwana put a positive gloss to the strategy. He said during the return leg his side will adopt an offensive tactic and will aim at striking early to unsettle the opponents.
The early goal he said will give his side momentum to then completely kill the game off beyond the opponents reach.
“What we need is to get a goal especially in the first half. When we score early it will give us confidence of scoring the next goal.
If we do not score early we will give them time and advantage to [settle down then] to qualify to the next round,” he explained in a radio interview aired on state owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Friday.
However, he was quick to add that his side will strive to be cautious to avoid creating holes in its rearguard.
“So our tactic is to strike early, if we can do it or if we do not, keep the patience of doing it. Because if we rush again we will be opening our back and they might take advantage of the gaps at the back,” he warned.
He further disclosed that the Flames technical team is also considering calling up midfield workhorse, Robert Ng’ambi, following the unavailability of Frank Banda.
Banda will be serving suspension after picking a second bookable offense in the first leg encounter against Benin.
Ng’ambi is reportedly to have started featuring for his South Africa Premier Soccer League Side (PSL) side Platinum Stars and was on field of play last Saturday during which he made a 45 minutes appearance.
“We are hoping the likes of Robert Ng’ambi will be coming back. I heard he played for his club for 45 minutes last weekend. We hope he will play a full game this week.
Match fitness will be important for him. But we don’t want to rush him. But if we can give him[at least] 30 minutes that will be good for us because what we need is his experience,” he explained.
Ng’ambi has been on the lay off for several weeks following an ankle injury he sustained while playing for his club towards the end of last season.