Mhango magic sees Malawi down Zimbabwe

Group B

Malawi 2-1 Zimbabwe 

Gabadinho Mhango scored twice as Malawi beat Zimbabwe 2-1 to boost their hopes of a first-ever appearance in the last 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Zimbabwe went ahead with a superb 38th-minute header from Ishmael Wadi, but Mhango equalised five minutes later with a controlled half-volley.

And Mhango put the Flames ahead in their Group B clash by dinking over the keeper 13 minutes into the second half.

Malawi sit a point behind Guinea and Senegal, who both have four points.

Malawi know victory over pre-tournament favourites Senegal in their final group game on Tuesday will see them through to the knockout stage, while a point could be enough to progress as one of four best third-placed sides.

Both sides had lost their opening games 1-0, with Zimbabwe by a 97th-minute Senegalese penalty, and it was the Zimbabweans who had the better first-half openings.

Warriors centre-back Gerald Takwara sent a free header down and wide, while Wadi saw one headed effort go wide and another pushed behind by Malawi keeper Ernest Kakhobwe.

Wadi’s opener was a fine header from Bruce Kangwa’s left-wing cross, which he directed back across goal from 14 yards and looped over the keeper.

Another good ball into the box – this time by Francisco Madinga – set the platform for Mhango to quickly equalise at the back post and the forward then completed the comeback with a composed finish.

The Flames were still without head of technical panel Mario Marinica but had several players available again after a Covid-19 outbreak, having only been able to name four substitutes in their opening game against Guinea.

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