MZUZU--He may have featured for only 35 minutes, but when Flames captain Peter Mponda was thrown into action on Monday when he featured for Santos Reserves in a friendly against National First Division (NFD) team Vasco da Gama in Cape Town, South Africa, it marked the beginning of good things.
Even the Santos coach Bobbie Solomons couldn’t hide his excitement following Mponda’s return after sustaining an injury on national duty when Malawi was held by Chad in their do-or-die Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in N’djamena.
Mponda suffered a career-threatening injury in February while playing for his club in a league game against Maritzburg United before injuring his knee again two months ago while on national duty in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nation’s decisive qualifier against Chad in N’djamena which ended in a draw, ostensibly ending the Flames’ road to the finals.
Mponda featured in the last 35 minutes of the friendly match.
“He is a key member of the squad and we missed his services. Hopefully he will catch up on fitness in time so that he gets back to serious action,” Solomons was quoted by Cape News as saying.
“It felt so good to be back on the pitch. I was satisfied with my performance although it was only for 35 minutes,” said Mponda who was Santos’ player of the season last year.
According to The Nation, Malawi’s leading daily, Mponda said he was looking forward to being available for main team next weekend, but was expected to feature for Santos Reserves again.
©2011 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment