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Malawi 3-0 Algeria

By Stephen Fottrell

Malawi players celebrate their second goal
Malawi players celebrate their second goal against Algeria in Luanda

Underdogs Malawi shocked fancied Algeria, thumping them 3-0 in a poorly-attended game in Luanda.

Russel Mwafulirwa capitalised on a defensive mix-up on 17 minutes, lashing home from a tight angle.

Elvis Kafoteka then powered in a header to finish off a smart move from the Malawians on the left.

David Banda took advantage of another defensive mix-up in the second half to roll the ball past Algerian goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi.

The vast number of empty seats was in complete contrast with Sunday's opening game at the 11 November Stadium, when the tournament got off to a memorable start as Angola and Mali drew 4-4.

606: DEBATE

However, Malawi defied their status as rank outsiders by going 3-0 up inside 50 minutes.

"We know we are being treated as the underdogs," said Malawi midfielder Josephy Kamwendo.

"We are playing against big teams but, like them, we are here to win."

The Flames started positively and took the lead when Chaouchi attempted to clear a long ball, but only succeeded in smashing it straight into advancing striker Essau Kanyenda.

The ball broke to Mwafulirwa, who gratefully smashed it home.

Rafik Saifi should have levelled after 24 minutes when he was played in by Karim Ziani's ball behind the defence but he put his lobbed effort over the bar.

Malawi goalkeeper Swadick Sanudi punches a cross by Algeria
Malawi overcame their underdog billing to boss the Algerians for spells

Ten minutes before half time, Kafoteka made it 2-0 as he rose highest to head home Hellings Mwakasungula's pinpoint cross.

Just three minutes into the second half, Malawi made it a rout when Chaouchi flapped at a cross and after a scramble and an attempted clearance from Madjid Bougherra, the ball fell to Banda who stroked it in.

Algeria had a decent penalty shout denied later in the second half, but failed to offer much more in a disappointing performance.

"We didn't play well," Algeria coach Rabah Saadane said. "We still have a chance to progress but we need to play well against Mali."

The result puts the Flames top of Group A ahead of Angola and Mali, and leaves World Cup qualifiers Algeria, who will be in the same group as England in South Africa later this year, bottom.

The Desert Foxes were tipped by some as potential winners, having travelled to Angola full of confidence after beating African champions Egypt in a World Cup qualifying play-off in November.



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see also
Algeria footballers hurt in Cairo
13 Nov 09 |  Middle East
Togo's Nations Cup exit confirmed
11 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations: Venue guide
07 Jan 10 |  Africa
Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
07 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations tables
07 Jan 10 |  African


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