Madagascar qualify for AFCON 2019, as Zim and DRC draw

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JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) - CELEBRATIONS following Madagascar’s historic
qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) are a
befitting end to about half a century of heartache for the Indian Ocean
island country.

The 1-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea at the CNAPS Stadium in
Vontovoronoa, near the capital Antananarivo sparked frenzy around the
soccer-mad but underachieving nation and is the highlight of the latest
round of qualifiers for the continent’s prime football competition.

Led by Frenchman, Nicola Dupuis, ‘Barea’ have beaten Sudan, the
Equatoguineans (back-to-back) and drawn against Senegal in Group A to
achieve the momentous feat.

The outcome of the two remaining matches against Senegal and Sudan will
have no influence as Madagascar are destined to finish in the top two of
Group A, which guarantees automatic qualification.

This is an end to over 46 years of waiting, with the team first
participating in the qualifiers of the 1972 edition of AFCON,
coincidentally held in Cameroon.

Madagascar did not enter between the inaugural edition in 1957 and 1970.

After the side could not manage qualifying for 1972, things have been
haywire, ranging from repetitive failure to qualify, withdrawing,
inability to enter and even disqualification.

Over the years, solace only came via winning the little-known Indian Ocean
Island Games but still victory remains a distant memory having come in
1990 and 1993.

Meanwhile, familiar participants Egypt, Senegal and Tunisia have also
wrapped up their spots for Cameroon 2019.

They qualified ahead of nonentities Eswatini and Niger in Group J.

Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles soared 2-1 away in Niger to preserve their
unbeaten run.

The Pharaohs of Egypt reigned supreme over Eswatini with a 2-0 scoreline
in Mavuso.

  Uganda and Zimbabwe are in a good position to qualify for
Cameroon.

The Warriors of Zimbabwe (eight points) remain ahead in the battle for
Group G, ahead of Democratic Republic of Congo (5) after the pair drew 1-1
in Harare on Tuesday.

Congo and Liberia are both on four points.  Liberia won 2-1 at home to
claim third sport on goal difference.

Uganda’ Cranes are flying high in Group L with 10 points, five ahead of
Tanzania.

Bafana Bafana of South Africa paid a heavy price for complacency following
a goalless draw away in Seychelles in Group E.

A 6-0 win against the same opponents three days earlier had the nation
buzzing that the glory days were back, only for the mood to hit rock
bottom again after a flat performance that the Seychelles celebrated like
their victory.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles capitalised. They lead the group with nine points
after beating Libya 3-2. South Africa are on eight, Libya four and
Seychelles one.

– CAJ News

 

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