Debutants Madagascar Reach AFCON Quarter-Finals

When Africa Cup of Nations debutants, Madagascar defeated the Super Eagles of Nigeria, football pundits across Africa refused to give them credit for an outstanding performance, the blamed it on Nigerian team who ‘decided not to play’ on the day. But the Madagascar team have again proved that beating Nigeria was not a fluke.

Although Nigerian team have gone ahead to beat the defending champions Cameroon and even sent them back home after beating them 3-2, Madagascar who did not show any form of respect to Nigeria has again dumped experienced Democratic Republic of Congo out of the competition. Now pundits are beginning to believe that the debutants are at AFCON for business.

On Sunday after a full time 2-2 draw, Yannick Bolasie missed from the spot as Africa Cup of Nations debutants Madagascar beat DR Congo in a dramatic penalty shootout to reach the quarter-finals. Marcel Tisserand had already skied his attempt over the bar when Bolasie followed suit to hand the Barea a 4-2 shoot-out victory in Alexandria.

When the game started, Madagascar shockingly took a ninth-minute lead in spectacular style when wide man Ibrahim Amada lashed home a swerving drive past keeper Matampi Ngumbi from the edge of the penalty area, only for Cedric Bakambu to level within 12 minutes. The Barea who regained the lead with 13 minutes remaining courtesy of Faneva Andriatsima’s diving header.

However, Chancel Mbemba restored parity with a bullet header in the final minute of normal time to take the tie to an extra 30 minutes, which the DR Congo Leopards dominated, but they were unable to make the pressure tell and it was they who flopped when penalties became the deciding factor.

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