By Michael Kachitsa
MDC United’s striker Frank Sinalo is among a few players in the history of Malawi soccer who scored exceptionally important goals for the national team (Flames) at most critical moments.
For instance, on 5 April 1987, Frank Sinalo scored a brilliant goal with a scissors kick in Lusaka when the Flames lost to Zambia 3-1. The return match was played on 19 April 1987 in Blantyre. Malawi had to score 2-0 in order to qualify to play at the 1987 All Africa Games in Kenya in August that year.
In this match, Frank Sinalo netted a second goal for the Flames with a scissors kick to make it 2-0 which the Flames desperately needed to progress to the final stage of the 1987 All Africa Games.
The following year, on 19 November 1988 in Blantyre during the final match of the CECAFA tournament, Frank Sinalo scored an equalizer with a header against Zambia in the dying minutes to make it 1-1. The Flames went on to win the match 3-1 after extra time and clinched the CECAFA cup for the third and last time.
Another player from MDC United who made an indelible mark in the history of soccer in Malawi and Africa at large, is Clifton Msiya. At the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast in March 1984 to which the Flames qualified for the first time, Clifton Msiya scored a magnificent goal for the Flames against Nigeria which became the goal of the tournament. He eventually appeared on the Top 10 FIFA’s Africa Player of the Year for 1984.
Source – History of Malawi