In the second half, Malawi were an improved side and they had good opportunities to draw level. Khuda Muyaba had a shot from the left saved by the keeper two minutes after the restart as The Flames started off faster off the blocks.
Four minutes later, Gabadinho Mhango had a glorious chance when he ran on to a long ball and with the keeper out of his line, lobbed the ball over him. However, the effort could only land on the roof of the net.
Mhango had another chance in the 65th minute with a well taken volley but he shot straight at the keeper.
Towards the end, the Ivorians upped the tempo to seal the game and were denied by the upright in the 79th minute. A well worked move saw Franck Kessie put through on the right but his shot stung the woodwork.