Underdogs Malawi’s Flames take on fancied Morocco’s Atlas Lions in a Round-of-16 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Cameroon on Tuesday evening.
Malawi have punched above their weight to reach this knockout stage for the first time in the country’s history; hence, any positive result against the North African giants would be a bonus.
The Flames sneaked through to this round from Group B as among the four best third-placed teams across the six pools.
Coached by Romanian, Mario Marinica, the Flames started the campaign with a 1-0 loss to Guinea then bounced back to see off Zimbabwe 2-1 before holding Senegal 0-0.
The star man for the Flames is diminutive Gabadinho Mhango who bagged a brace in the win over the Warriors; hence, more would be expected from the Orlando Pirates striker in Tuesday’s game.
For Mhango to have scoring chances, he would certainly bank on the runs and crosses of winger Fransisco Madinga whereas defender Chembezi Denis is expected to keep shape and discipline at the back.
Denis will assume the leadership role at the rearguard in the absence of skipper Limbikani Mzava who is injured.
For Morocco, they are in a very familiar territory and winning at this round is highly of expected of them considering their profile in continental football.
Morocco: Yassine Bono, Achraf Hakimi, Ghanem Saiss, Nayef Aguerd, Adama Masina, Sofyane Boufal, Sofyan Amrabat, Selim Amallah, Imran Louza, Youssef En-Nesyri, Ayoub El Kaabi
Malawi: Charles Thom, Chembezi Dennis, Lawrence Chaziya, Gomezgani Chirwa, Fransisco Madinga, Micium Mhone, John Banda, Chimwemwe Idana, Stanley Sanudi, Gabadinho Mhango, Khuda Muyaba