Malawi national team, the Flames on Saturday rolled out their 2019 the biennial Africa Cup of Nations tournament (Afcon) qualification campaign with a narrow 1-0 win on against Comoros at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
The Flames started the match on a promising note but they were jittery in front of a goal. That was until the half hour mark when a well-worked passing move from Malawi resulted in Gerard Phiri Jnr, son to assistant coach Gerald Phiri finding the back of the net, 1-0.
Malawi continued to control the opening half, but could not add a second goal to the scoreline before the break.
The second half saw Comoros playing better football as they gained more possession of the ball, but their decision making in the final third was poor which saw them really unable to trouble the Malawi goalkeeper.
While the second half produced little in terms of goal mouth action, Malawi coached by Belgian tactician Ronny van Geneugden produced a solid defensive display to hold onto their 1-0 lead and claim a win in their first Afcon 2019 qualifying match.
Malawi are now the group's joint leaders with Cameroon on three points and one goal, who beat Morocco on the same day.
However, both nations will resume their campaign next year in March when Cameroon, the country that gave the world the hip-wriggling, gap-toothed Roger Milla,visit the Islanders (Comoros) while Malawi will be away to Morroco.
The Belgian tactician expressed his delight with a winning start in the campaign.
He said the target was "to start the campaign with a win."
Malawi coach praised his players for being able to "execute the game plan."
RVG opted for a new look Flames side, handing debuts to Red Lions midfielder Chikoti Chirwa and Wizards captain Daniel Chembezi.
The coach also handed starts to South African Premier Soccer League champion Gabadinho Mhango, Jabulani Linje, Stanley Sanudi and captain Limbikani Mzava.