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Madagascar defeat Burundi to register maiden AFCON victory

Madagascar players celebrate their goal against Burundi on Thursday. (PHOTOS/Agencies)

AFCON 2019
Madagascar 1-0 Burundi
Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria
Thursday, 27-06-2019

Marco Ilaimaharitra scored a late free-kick to to ensure Madagascar register a first ever Africa Cup of Nations victory.

The versatile midfielder struck with on 14 minutes on the clock as Barea defeated Burundi 1-0 in the group B clash played at the Alexandria Stadium on Thursday.

Burundi who always shoulder their hopes of Stock City forward Saido Berahino were on the back foot for the entire game, struggling to create anything meaningful.

Their best chance of the game fell to Enock Sabumukama who slotted narrowly wide of the target.

For Berahino, he once again failed to lift his side and was unsurprising taken off on the hour mark, replaced by Mikel Amissi.

The East African side had goal keeper Jonathan Nahimana to thank for keeping a respectable score line as the custodian produced two stunning saves to deny Carolus Andriamahitsinoro from a free kick and a thunderous drive.

With the game headed for a dead-lock, Omar Ngandu brought down Paulin Voavy in the 75th minute and up-stepped Ilaimaharitrato fire into the top corner for a lead that Madagascar held onto until the end.

Ilaimaharitra’s free kick finds the top corner on Thursday.

After Nigeria defeated Guinea 1-0 the previous day, Madagascar remain second on the Group log with four points, two adrift of the Super Eagles.

The Barea will now take on Nigeria in their last group game and require only a point to ensure qualification to the round of 16.

Madagascar can still reach the knock out stage if they can match Guinea’s result against Burundi on Sunday.

For Guinea, they remain third on the log and will now have to beat Burundi in their last game to stand any chances of reaching the round of 16.

Burundi’s chances of reaching the knockout stages are as good as over after suffering their second defeat in as many games in their first Afcon.

The East African nation lost 1-0 to Nigeria this past weekend in their very first AFCON game.

They have been defending well but luck the firs power upfront and risk exiting the competition without scoring a single goal, that is if they fail to do so against Guinea on Sunday.

The other games on Thursday

-Senegal vs Algeria
-Kenya vs Tanzania

Friday’s fixtures

-Tunisia vs Mali @5:30pm
-Morocco vs Ivory Coast @8pm
-South Africa vs Namibia @11pm

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