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Malawi Out to Surprise Morocco in Yaoundé

Malawi will square off with Morocco in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Round of 16 match on Friday.

Kick-off is at 19h00 GMTT.

The encounter is set to be played at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde.

The Flames advanced to the knockout stages as one of the four best third-placed teams after finishing third in Group B.Malawi beat Zimbabwe 2-1, drew 0-0 with Senegal but lost 1-0 to Guinea in the opening match.

They will look at Gabadhino Mhango, a South Africa-based striker, who their two goals in the group stage and Denis Chembezi who was rock-solid at the back against Senegal in their recent game between two sides.

“The team is physically and emotionally well. Morocco game is the biggest game of our lives, and we are looking forward to it. We respect Morocco, but we don’t fear them,” said the Flames captain John Banda.

“We played this opponent twice three years ago and I was present in all games. It is true that they are favorites, but we are here to play our game and pursue our goals.”

Meanwhile, Morocco reached to the knockout stages after finishing top of Group B with seven points. They beat Ghana 1-0 before hammering Comoros 2-0 but were forced to labor for a point against Gabon in a 2-2 draw.

The Atlas Lions are making their 18th appearance in Africa Cup of Nations, and they are eyeing their second title, almost 46 years after winning their lone title in 1976.

“It won’t be an easy game. We had the opportunity to watch Malawi games. They have excellent teamwork and that counts a lot for any team,” said Morocco midfielder Salim Amallah.

“Our confidence levels are up and positive. We hope we can count on Achraf (Hakimi) for tomorrow’s game. He is a player we need to give confidence to the group”.

The last meeting between the two sides was on 22 March 2019 where Malawi managed to hold Morocco into a goalless draw.


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