It will be the battle of COSAFA when southern representatives Malawi and Zimbabwe try to salvage their fortunes at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations on Friday.

Both teams lost their Group B opening matches. Zimbabwe conceded a late penalty in their 1-0 defeat to Senegal, while Malawi lost to Guinea by the same result.

Match Card

Date: 14 January 2022

Time: 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT)

Stadium: Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium, Bafoussam.

Group: B

Match: Malawi vs Zimbabwe

Malawi – Flames eyeing success

In their third Africa Cup of Nations appearance, Malawi are still to surpass the group stage. And if they are to do so this time round, they will need a win over southern neighbors Zimbabwe.

With just one win in seven games, The Flames will do their best for maximum points that will set the pace towards a historic place in the knockout stages.

Andrew Mwase coach of Malawi and Gerald Priri Jnr of Malawi during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Malawi Press Conference

What they said

Meck Mwase (Assistant coach, Malawi)

"We had a very good but unlucky performance against Guinea. We took note of our mistakes and playing Zimbabwe will be totally different. We have some players back after missing the first game. Zimbabwe are a very good side tactically, but I have told my players we are in a must win situation.”

Gerald Phiri Junior (Forward, Malawi)

"The mood in the camp is buoyant and as players we have resolved to go all out and get a win against the strong Zimbabwe team. We had a lot of opportunities against Guinea that we never made use of. Now it will be a different game against Zimbabwe.”

Zimbabwe warm up during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations

Zimbabwe – To end the drought

It has been almost 16 years since Zimbabwe last won an AFCON game. Since beating Ghana 2-1 in 2006, The Warriors have failed to win in their last seven Africa Cup of Nations matches, gathering just a couple of points in the process.

Zimbabwe was about to get a valuable point from top ranks Senegal, but for a deep injury time penalty that saw them finishing the game with nothing in hand.

Norman Mapeza coach of Zimbabwe and during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Zimbabwe Press Conference

What they said

Norman Mapeza (Coach, Zimbabwe)

"We have been working on recovery after the last-minute loss to Senegal. We have a very good side, and we know our game against Malawi is a mist win. I spoke to the players who were very emotional, and I am happy they have decided to forget the Senegal game. I am not going to make changes to my squad but will just emphasize on consistency and using our chances effectively.”

Alec Mudimu (Player, Zimbabwe)

"Our loss to Senegal was disappointing, but we have since recovered and decided to move on to the next game against Malawi which is a must win. The mood is camp is good and we are rearing to go as we work hard towards getting the three points and making our entire nation proud.