Malawi's Africa Cup of Nations qualification hopes were handed a severe blow as they were held to a goalless draw by Burkina Faso in their Group B qualifier in Blantyre on Monday.
The result left Malawi in third place in the group, outside the automatic top two qualifying places. They are four points behind leaders Burkina and three behind Uganda, despite the Cranes losing 1-0 to South Sudan.
To stand any chance of progress to the finals in Cameroon in early 2022, Malawi must beat Uganda at home and South Sudan away in their last two qualifiers in March.
The Flames had many chances to beat their visitors, who included Bertrand Traore from English Premier League outfit Aston Villa in their line-up, notably in a strong second half display, but could not finish.
Goalkeeper Ernst Kakhobwe also had a busy afternoon in producing a man of the match performance for the home team at Kamuzu Stadium.