Gabadinho Mhango says Malawi must believe they can get something from their final Africa Cup of Nations Group B clash against Senegal at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam on Tuesday, where a point would likely secure a second round berth.
Malawi currently sit in third place in their Cup of nations pool, with the top two teams automatically through to the knockout stages and the four best third-placed sides among the six pools also advancing.
Mhango scored a brace as the side came from behind to claim a deserved 2-1 win over Zimbabwe in their last game, just a second ever victory at the Cup of Nations, which in turn eliminated their COSAFA rivals from the competition.
A draw on Tuesday would give Malawi a good chance of being among the best third-place finishers, and with Senegal having yet to hit their straps in the competition, Mhango claims the Flames must believe they can do something special.
“It’s a big game, they look good on paper because there are big stars there for Senegal. People can say we must fear them, but at the end of the day it is 90 minutes and it will be determined on the field of play,” Mhango says.
“People did doubt us and see us as underdogs, but we have got a big heart and I can see everyone on the team wants to play that game and show that we can be better than them.”
Mhango, who plays for Orlando Pirates, says the Malawi players are not just fighting for a place in the next round, but also their careers as professional footballers, with a good showing at this tournament in Cameroon likely to open doors for several of the squad.
“My ambition is to see Malawian players, and I include me as well, to go and play overseas [in Europe] because this is the only way we can show our talent. We have players who deserve to be overseas.
“I think after this tournament there will be four or five players who will play overseas from the squad, I am sure of it. That is the thing I have been telling the team. Everyone is watching this tournament.
“They must fight, not just to win, but also to show a good performance.”