With every passing year, Malawi seem to be moving ever closer towards their goal of competing at a first FIFA World Cup™ finals. On their day, the Flames are a match for anyone and their impressive 2-1 victory over Guinea in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa preliminaries underlined their ability. Malawi had their path blocked by South Africa in 1998 and 2002, but they did manage to reach the group stage of qualifying for Germany 2006.
The current crop
Malawi are a growing force in African football, as evidenced by their qualification for the 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations and subsequent 3-0 win over FIFA World Cup finalists Algeria. The Flames have continued their steady rise ever since, with 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying wins over Chad (6-2) and Togo (1-0) and a 2-2 draw with Tunisia all providing further proof of their impressive progress.
The key players
Star striker Chiukepo Msowoya regularly shines for Malawi in continental qualifiers, while fellow forward and key player Russel Mwafulirwa is often likened to England’s Peter Crouch.
Coach: Kinnah Phiri
Best performance in a FIFA competition: FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009 (Group stages)
Former stars: Essau Kanyenda, Peter Mgangira