FIFA World Cup Malawi strike late to defeat Liberia and earn perfect start

A late second-half strike from substitute Chifundo Mphasi inspired Malawi to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Liberia at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex to begin their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with a win.

It was also their first win in West Africa in a match, which was mostly dominated by Patrick Mabedi’s charges, especially in the first half, but his attacking players failed to put the ball inside the net from the chances they created. The Flames’ first chance was created by Chimwemwe Idana who made his way into the box on the right side of the penalty box before setting up Kanjira whose shot inside the box was blocked and from the rebound, John Banda found Lloyd Aaron who was denied by Boison.

In the second half, Flames coach Patrick Mabedi brought in Christopher Kumwembe and Wisdom Mpinganjira for Nkhoma and Kanjira to try to improve his attacking prowess. It was rather a lackluster second-half start from Malawi, with the hosts now playing with intent through Joel Johnson and Muhammad Camara who almost broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute when his powerful shot inside the penalty box missed Brighton Munthali’s right-hand goal post with an inch.

Read Also: Malawi captain Banda calls for focus from the Flames

Mpinganjira saw his long-range effort well saved by William for a corner kick that produced another set piece, but Malawi failed to capitalize. But the deadlock was broken in the 77th minute when substitute Chifundo Mphasi fired past William from Tatenda M’balaka’s long-range switch from the left flank.

With heavy rains coming down like nobody’s business, it was just a matter of managing the game, and they did so in style when they kept possession to frustrate the hosts and, in the end, Malawi registered their first-ever win away to a West African country.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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