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Football

Burundi eye redemption against Madagascar

Burundi were impressive in thier loss to Nigeria. (PHOTOS/Agencies)

AFCON 2019

Madagascar vs Burundi

Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria

Thursday, 27-06-2019 @5:30pm

Burundi will be hoping to put their AFCON campaign back on track when they take on Madagascar at the Alexandria stadium on Thursday afternoon.

The Chayfs lost 0-1 to Nigeria in their first game last weekend in a game that they put up a spirited performance.

Burundi gave three-time Africa Cup of Nations winners Nigeria a real scare as their defensive efforts kept them out for the majority of the game in their opening contest but a late goal broke their hearts.

The Nigerians saw a lot of the ball but both teams had the same number of shots (15) with Burundi even managing to get more on target as they posed a threat of their own but a 77th-minute effort from Nigeria substitute Odion Ighalo was enough to break the deadlock.

It was an impressive showing from Burundi in their first-ever appearance at the tournament and after giving such a good account of themselves, it’s unlikely that they will make too many changes to the side that featured against Nigeria.

They come into Thursday’s game knowing that defeat will all but end their dreams of reaching the knock-out stages.

For Madagascar, Madagascar claimed an impressive point in their opening game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in what was their first ever game in this competition as they held Guinea to a draw.

Despite going a goal behind in the first half, Madagascar responded well with two goals early in the second period with Anicet Andrianantenaina scoring his side’s first before Charles Carlos Andriamahitsinoro scored the second soon after but a penalty for Guinea levelled things up.

Madagascar drew 2-2 with Guinea last weekend.

After such an impressive performance in their opening game, coach Nicolas Dupuis has a big decision to make as he must decide whether to rotate his side to give game time to his squad members or stick with what he perceives as his strongest side.

What they are saying ahead of the game

Madagascar head coach Nicolas Dupuis  

“It would be a great risk if we underestimated the opponent.

“It’s a difficult match and Burundi is a great and stubborn team. We have to be really focused and prepared.

“We know a win will move us closer to our next target. We’ve prepared for this and we are ready.

“They will come hard because they lost against Nigeria. We hope to win for the country.”

Burundi head coach Olivier Niyungeko

“It will be a tough game because I have watched Madagascar and they are not a light team,” Niyungeko said.

“It will be tough for us. We have already played one final against Nigeria and lost, but now we have to look at the remaining two finals, starting with Thursday.

“We know losing will be tough for us, so we have to ensure we get the three points.”

This will be the first meeting between the two sides.

The other Group B game saw Nigeria defeat Guinea 1-0 on Wednesday.

Other games on Thursday

-Algeria vs Senegal @8pm

-Kenya vs Tanzania @11pm

Wednesday’s results

-Nigeria 1-0 Guinea

-Uganda 1-1 Zimbabwe

-Egypt 2-0 DR Congo

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