By Ameenu Shardow
Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri has dismissed allegations his team played dirty during the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against Ghana.
The Black Stars despite winning 2-0 were visibly bullied for most parts of the game played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Algerian referee Benouza Mohammed was very lenient with the Flames who had obviously deployed a tactic to frustrate the Ghanaian players by resorting to kicking and hacking.
Livewire Christian Atsu and striker Asamoah Gyan were constant victims of persistent fouling by the Malawians who surprisingly finished the game with only one sending off and three yellow cards.
But Phiri insists his team is not dirty – rather blaming the referee for some of his decisions.
“We are not a rough team, I think it just happened,” he said in the post-match interview.
“We play very clean football, anyone who has watched Malawi can tell you.
“Some of the decisions (of referee) were very questionable but we managed to hold our own against a very good Ghana team.”
Malawi will host Ghana in the return encounter in Blantyre next month to decide which team picks up one of the 15 qualification slots for the Nations Cup to be hosted by South Africa early next year.