Friday, July 29, 2016

Malawi's Football Teams' Last Minute Sickness

So, the Malawi Under 17-Football National Team is out of the Cosafa Under-17 Tournament being held in Mauritius?
Yes. That the simple, seemingly less painful way of putting it.
In all fairness, the junior team did the country proud. They had less than two weeks of preparations. They played no friendly game. They left the country without getting their allowances.
And, for all these pains, they only lost to the over-aged Zambia by a margin of three goals, before humbling Kenya 5-0.
They had to face South Africa in the semi-finals but, then, the cheating Zambians were caught napping [by technology, of course] at their own game.
So, Malawi had to meet Namibia on Friday. And meet they did. And lost. I mean, Malawi.
They lost on post-match penalties six to five.
It is normal to lose through penalties, but it is the manner of Malawi Under-17's loss that has rekindled painful memories of the past. Memories associated with Malawian teams.
You see, Malawian teams lose their nerves during the final stages of a match. Sports psychologists will tell you that the most dangerous point in a match is after you have scored a goal. You are happy. On top of the world. And bound to lose track of the boundary-of-caution.
And the other team may score. Against jubilation.
But Malawi lost with two minutes to spare.
It was like, the shore was there for the taking and the boat sunk!
Peter Banda had put Malawi in front, and on course to meet South Africa in the final, when he scored in the 51st minute.
And Malawi held on, only for Namibia's Eldery Morgan to develop other ideas and punish Malawi two minutes to time.
Malawi can savage some pride, of course, and become third-place winners should they decide to come back with a load of sweet sensibilities.
But, then, Malawi are back to where they belong.
I think Malawi needs the services of psychologists. Malawi loses out on the psychological part of the game and this loosing streak must come to an end.

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