Madagascar continues dreaming against Tunisia

Anicet Andrianantenaina of Madagascar challenged by Cedric Bakambu of DR Congo during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Last 16 match between Madagascar and DR Congo at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria on the 07 July 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The minnows of 2019 African Cup of Nations Madagascar continues their unexpected adventure in Egypt. “Barea” would like to reach the semifinal, but they have to pass the “Carthage Eagles” hurdle first. Tunisia looks confident after eliminating Ghana in the previous round.

 “Barea”, led by players with no experience in African competitions but talented, like Carolus Andrea or Ibrahim Amada, want to continue dreaming. After already writing history, they hope to go as far as possible in this tournament.

"We are here as novices but we are having a good tournament. We want our dream to continue until the end ", Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis told CAFOnline.com.

In their first ever AFCON appearance, “Barea” made a good run so far, with two wins and as much draws in four games played.

On the Tunisian side, the “Carthage Eagles” advanced to the quarter-finals by beating a tough Ghana side on penalties. The Tunisians have so far not won a match in this tournament, making three draws in the group stage and a fourth in the round of 16. Their experience sets them up as favorites in this last quarter-final which will be played at the Cairo based Al Salam stadium.

Alain Giresse men will count on their continental experience with elements that have been trotting Africa for several years now. Mskani, Khazri or Sassi, who have not yet shone in this tournament, know that this match against the Malagasy can open them the doors of a sixth semifinal in the Africa Cup of Nations as they are looking for their second continental title and the first since winning it at home in 2004.

Tunisia and Madagascar have met four times in the past but never in the finals. Advantage for the Carthage Eagles who recorded three wins and a single loss.

What they said

Nicola Dupuis (Coach, Madagascar)

We hope to continue rewriting history by another good result. We are proud that we made the people of Madagascar happy with that appearance. Facing Tunisia is totally different and they are a very good team. The President came here to support us and this is very good. I believe we have a chance to continue our good results. It’s tough to have to play all these matches in such a short time and we need to recover from fatigue and some injuries. VAR is very important foor football and it’s good to have it from the quarterfinals.

Carlous Andriamatsinoro (Forward, Madagascar)

We had a few hours of rest and recharge our energy. We hope to defeat Tunisia. We are very happy having the president is here and our morale is very high because of his presence.

Alain Giresse (Coach, Tunisia)

Madagascar is having an impressive tournament. The most important now is to remain focused against a team that play very exciting football. We are taking it seriously and we expect a very tough game. Madagascar players are talented tactically and collectively. We are in the quarterfinal now and we have to do our best to stay in the competition. Resting for just 48 hours is not enough but we have to cope with that.

Taha Khenissi (Forward, Tunisia)

Madagascar is a very good team. In this tournament there are lot of surprises and there are no small teams. We want to win and make Tunisians happy. We hope to reach the semifinal.