Flames finish last as Kenya win Four Nations Tournament

Flames finish last as Kenya win Four Nations Tournament

Flames coach Patrick Mabedi says he is happy with his team’s performance despite finishing last in the Four Nations Tournament which ended yesterday.

Malawi lost 2-1 to neighbours Zambia’s Chipolopolo in a third-place play-off at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe while Kenya came from a goal down  to beat Zimbabwe 3-1 later at the same venue to win the tournament.

Flames’ Mwaungulu (C) challenges Zambia’s Daka (R) during the match

The Flames’ defeat followed a 4-0 humiliation they suffered at the hands of Kenya’s Harambee Stars on Saturday.

But in a post-match press conference, Mabedi said: “Today, I was very, very happy with the performance, especially in the second half.

“We were able to build attacks into the last third, but finishing was the problem. It is work in progress and we’ll get over it.”

The coach also said they have benefitted a lot from the tournament.

He said: “It was a good tournament in terms of trying some new players. 

“We also wanted to win, unfortunately we couldn’t, but as a technical panel, we are very happy with what we have seen.”

Mabedi made five changes to the team that started against Kenya with goalkeeper  Innocent Nyasulu, defender Lawrence Chaziya, winger Lanjesi Nkhoma, midfielder Patrick Mwaungulu and striker Lloyd Njaliwa getting the nod in place of Brightone Munthali, Joseph Balakasi, Robert Saizi, Chawanangwa Kaonga and Chifundo Mphasi.

Chipolopolo also made changes with five players that started against Zimbabwe’s Warriors on Saturday, including captain Stoppila Sunzu,  paving the way for fresh legs.

Despite having six more uncapped players inthe  Flames squad, none got a run in yesterday’s match.

Commenting on the absence of England-based midfielder Takondwa Maosa, who did not feature in both matches, and US-based striker Henri Kumwenda, Mabedi said: “Henri pulled muscles during training yesterday [Monday] while Maosa also had a knock.”

He also said another England-based defender Djibril Ikedini was taken off “because he had a stomach upset”.

Zambia were the first to settle down and took the lead in the 16th minute through a fabulous free-kick from Clatous Chama which left Flames goalkeeper rooted following a deflection.

Barely a minute later, Chipolopolo doubled the lead via England-based Leicester City striker Patson Daka.

But the Flames pulled one back five minutes later through Chaziya’s sharp header from a Frank Gabadinho Mhango free kick.

In the second half, Malawi came with renewed purpose after making a triple substitution, taking out Mhango, Mwaungulu and Lloyd Njaliwa for Chimwemwe Idana, Mphasi and Kawonga.

The trio changed the tempo of the game as the Flames forced Chipolopolo into rearguard action. But despite creating a number of chances they could not get an equaliser.

In the final, Michael Olunga was the toast for Harambee Stars after scoring a hat-trick.  He has finished as top scorer with five goals, having scored a brace against Malawi.

Zimbabwe were the first to score through Richard Odada’s own goal.

The post Flames finish last as Kenya win Four Nations Tournament first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Flames finish last as Kenya win Four Nations Tournament appeared first on The Nation Online.