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FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Malawi 2 Kenya 2
13 Jun, 2013 10:18 PM GMT
Malawi ended their strike in time to claim a 2-2 FIFA World Cup qualifying draw against Kenya on Wednesday.
Unpaid Malawi players did not attend Tuesday's training session as part of a boycott and they threatened to not honour the important fixture at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
But an 11th-hour agreement saw the match go ahead, although the result was not ideal for Eddington Ngonamo's side.
Malawi could have moved ahead of Nigeria at the summit of Group F with a win in the second-round qualifying clash, but they were cruelly denied in the dying stages when substitute Chimango Kayira scored an own goal.
Following a goalless first half, Malawi took the lead after 46 minutes thanks to 20-year-old Robin Ngalande.
Kenya, who were without Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama and Ajaccio striker Dennis Oliech, managed to produce a quick response as Jamal Mohammed's 52nd-minute strike drew the visitors level.
Kenya cannot make the third round of qualifying but looked to be on the verge of causing an upset until Malawi midfielder Robert Ng'ambi, who scored twice at last year's Africa Cup of Nations, bagged an 80th-minute effort.
With only the top team from each group going through to the third round, the goal was crucially important for Malawi, who have played one more match than Nigeria.
Their World Cup dreams took a blow in the final minute, though, as Kayira turned the ball into his own net.
The result was Malawi's fourth draw from their five matches in the group, leaving them with seven points. Group leaders Nigeria have eight points from their four fixtures.