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Africa Cup of Nations: Debutants Madagascar Stun Nigeria

Madagascar stunned Nigeria 2-0 in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group B last match played at Alexandria Stadium in Egypt on Sunday.

Lalaina Nomenjanahary opened the scoring in the 13th minute before Carolus Andriamantsinoro added the second in the 53rd minute to hand the Barea maximum points. The win see Nicolas Dupuis’s men qualify for the Round of 16 of the continental football showpiece on their debut.

The match started at a furious pace, and Nigeria created better chances in the first half; three times they broke the Madagascar offside trap but they were unable to capitalize on the opportunities.

Ahmed Musa had two of the chances, first being brilliantly challenged by makeshift right-back Leon Balogun, the second time curling his shot wide of the far post.

John Ogu also went one-on-one with Melvin Adrien after a great pass from Ola Oina but was denied by the goalkeeper.

Just two minutes to the quarter an hour mark Madagascar broke the deadlock.

The Super Eagles were unable to clear their lines after repeated attempts on goal from Feneva Andriatsima and Lalaina Namenjanahary.

Eventually Namenjanahary guided the ball into the net after catching Leon Balagun in possession at the edge of his own box. The forward than danced coolly past the keeper.

Nigeria’s build-ups were measured as they attempted to find a way through Barea’s tight, compact defensive lines after the goal.

On many occasions, though, timely interceptions from Jerome Mombris and Thomas Fontaine stopped the Super Eagles in their tracks.

Left-back Ernest Seka was sent haring down the flank and his cross into the penalty area was spilt by Madagascar goalkeeper Adriem. When the ball fell loose, John Ogu was first to react, but, amazingly, confronted with an empty net, he stabbed the ball against the upright.

And just eight minutes into the second stanza, the Mdagascar doubled their lead.

Feneya was again the architect forcing Ndidi to concede a free kick from a promising position.  Andriamahitsinoro steeped up sending a curling shot into the top corner thanks to a big deflection off the hapless defence line.

Nigeria reacted by using all three substitutions within 11 minutes of going 2-0 down and they proceeded to dominate the remainder of the game.

However, they were unable to find a way past Man of the Match Adrien, who made several excellent saves.

Madagascar could have even added to the score line through Andriastima, who found himself one-on-one with Enzemwa, but his chipped finish drifted just wide of the post.

In another Group B match played at the same time, Guinea beat Burundi 2-0 to keep alive their hopes of reaching Africa Cup of Nations last 16.

Mohammed Yattara scored the two important goals with the first one coming from a corner before Christophe Nduwarugira was sent off for Burundi after committing a foul as the last man.

Yattara made the win safe in the second half with a composed strike.

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