SOUTH AFRICA (Malawi NewsNow)- Malawi and Mauritius and Angola and Tanzania played out drab 0-0 draws on Tuesday, leaving the four nations with a chance of winning Group A at the COSAFA Cup and reaching the quarter-finals.
Tanzania (plus two goal difference) and Angola (plus one) have four points and Mauritius (minus one) and Malawi (minus two) one entering the final series of group fixtures.
Angola play Malawi in Phokeng on Thursday at the same time as Mauritius meet Tanzania in Moruleng. Both venues are in the platinum producing area of northwest South Africa.
The group winners, who could well be decided on goal difference or goals scored, face defending champions South Africa this weekend in the quarter-finals.
Malawi and Mauritius provided marginally more entertainment in the first match of the double-header at a venue used for the 2010 World Cup, the first in Africa.
Innocent Bokosi stung the fingers of impressive Mauritian goalkeeper Kevin Jean-Louis with an early close-range shot.
A slightly over-hit through ball robbed Joseph Perticots of a chance to put Mauritius ahead at the other end during a match notable for no-holds-barred tackling.
The best chance of the second half fell to unmarked Malawian John Lanjesi, who headed straight at Jean-Louis from close range.
Defensive marshal Lanjesi was later cautioned — his second yellow card of the tournament — and is suspended for the fixture against Angola.
As the game ended, Flames left winger Dalitso Sailesi was named man of the match and a clip of his interview went viral as some Malawians attacked the player for switching from English to Malawi’s main local language of Chichewa while others defended him for the move.
Raymond Chikoko defended Chikoko for expressing himself in the local language.
“Congratulations to this young Flames player Dalitso Sailesi for being man of the match when Flames played Mauritius yesterday. He stunned Malawians and many by switching to his mother tongue ie Chichewa when being interviewed by a journalist and has attracted a scorn. However, I differ and please let us note that English is just a language not a measure of intelligence thus why our kids speak better than most of us yet we have degrees.
“Actually in the whole of Europe, only one country ie the United Kingdom speaks English. The rest speak their own ie Greek, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Nowergian etc. The Chinese speak Chinese but are amongst the best innovators in the World”
Sailesi received $250 for being man of the match.
Meanwhile, a Malawi youthful businessman Vincent Yopoma has announced that he will give Sailesi an extra 100,000 Malawi kwacha for being man of the match.