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Madagascar Off To A Winning Start In 2021 AFCON Qualifiers

Rayan Arnaldo’s 18th-minute glancing header handed Bareas a 1-0 win over Ethiopia at the Mahamasina Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Rayan Arnaldo’s 18th-minute glancing header handed Bareas a 1-0 win over Ethiopia at the Mahamasina Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It proved to be an open game in the first 10 minutes, although neither side could create any clear cut openings.

Miscommunication eight minutes later between Ethiopia goalkeeper and his defenders allowed Arnaldo to send a header from Jerome Mombris’ corner into the back of the net.

In the 25th minute, Carolus Andriamatsinoro should have made it two when he latched onto a ball over the top and rounded the keeper, but his 14-yard effort went off the target.

Two minutes later, Ethiopia had their first sight of goal when Biniam Belay met a left-wing cross from Gatoch Panom, but his eight-yard header went inches wide.

The next effort on goal came in the 40th minute when Faneva Ima Andriatsima found Jeremy Michel Morel inside the box with a right-wing cross, but the latter volleyed wide of the Madagascar goal from six-yards out.

Both sides continued to display their attacking intent after the halftime break, although they both struggled with decision-making in the final third.

Ethiopia went close to grabbing an equaliser in the 62nd minute when Fuad Fareja’s curling free-kick forced Melvin Adrien into a fine save at the near post.

Panom nearly levelled matters for the visitors in the 67th minute, as he showed some great footwork to beat his marker, before forcing Adrien into another good stop.

Bakary Mario should have found the back of the net for Madagascar minutes later when he collected a pass from Fontaine but the defender fired horribly wide from 12-yards out.

Ethiopia pushed for an equalising goal in the closing stages but could not bypass a stubborn Bareas defence.

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