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AFCON wrap: Algeria, Tunisia complete semifinalists

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Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations semifinals are set for Cairo, as Tunisia will meet Senegal and Algeria tangles with Nigeria.

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All but Senegal have won AFCON crowns, though Nigeria is the only one to claim the honors in the last seven tournaments.

Madagascar 0-3 Tunisia

A two-goal burst from Ferjani Sassi and Youssef Mskani by the hour mark prodded Tunisia past the surprising Barea.

Naimi Sliti scored deep into stoppage time to complete the score line, which ends Madagascar’s first AFCON with three wins (one by penalties), a draw, and this loss.

Tunisia last won AFCON in 2004.

Algeria 1-1 (4-3 pens) Ivory Coast

Sofiane Feghouli gave Algeira a first half lead, but Jonathan Kodija (Aston Villa) answered at the hour mark for the only goals of regulation.

Youcef Belaïli smashed the post with his bid to score the winning penalty, but Les Elephants could not take advantage of the opening. Serey Die his the same post with similar vigor and Algeria moved to within two wins of its title and final since 1990.

AFCON quarterfinals, Live: Ivory Coast v. Algeria, Madagascar v. Tunisia

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Two huge quarterfinals take place at the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday, as some heavyweight semifinals clashes are about to be set up.

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Ivory Coast and Algeria clash in Suez as Premier League wing-wizards Riyad Mahrez and Wilfried Zaha go head-to-head. For many, this would be a spectacular final, so plenty is expected as the winner of this massive clash will play against Nigeria on Sunday.

In Thursday’s other quarterfinal surprise package Madagascar take on Tunisia, with the latter favored to advance. However, the Barea have already finished top of their group at the tournament this summer and knocked out DR Congo on penalty kicks in the Round of 16. Beware, Tunisia. Whoever wins this clash will face Sadio Mane’s Senegal in the semfinals.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Thursday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Thursday, July 11

Quarterfinals
Ivory Coast. Algeria – 12 p.m. ET
Madagascar v. Tunisia – 3 p.m. ET

AFCON: Madagascar in QF as fairytale debut goes on; Algeria joins them

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CAIRO (AP) — Madagascar beat Congo 4-2 in a penalty shootout Sunday to ensure its fairytale debut at the African Cup of Nations continued as it advanced to the quarterfinals.

Congo defender Chancel Mbemba equalized in the last minute of normal time for 2-2 to send the game into extra time, and neither team could break through to avoid the shootout in Alexandria.

Defender Marcel Tisserand sent Congo’s first spot kick well over the bar and Yannick Bolasie also missed when he had to score after Ibrahim Amada, Romain Métanire, Thomas Fontaine and Jérôme Mombris all converted their penalties for Madagascar.

Algeria booked its place in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Guinea, which was missing influential midfielder Naby Keïta through injury.

Goals from Youcef Belaïli in the first half, and Riyad Mahrez — with an impressive finish — and Adam Ounas in the second, set up a game against Mali or Ivory Coast on Thursday.

Madagascar’s team, mostly consisting of players plying their trade in the lower leagues in France, had already ensured a dream debut in the tournament after staying unbeaten to finish top of Group B, ahead of former winners Nigeria and Guinea. Madagascar’s 2-0 win over Nigeria was one of the biggest surprises in African Cup history.

Amada got the side off to a flying start against Congo when he let fly from outside the penalty area to send the ball in off the far post in the ninth minute, and captain Faneva Andriatsima set off wild celebrations when he canceled out Cedric Bakambu’s first-half equalizer with a diving header in the 77th, only for Mbemba to keep Congo’s hopes alive.

Cheered on by the Madagascan president, Andry Rajoelina, and around 450 jubilant fans, Andriatsima’s side held its nerve in the shootout to set up a quarterfinal against Ghana or Tunisia on Thursday.

Live, Africa Cup of Nations: Madagascar v. DR Congo, Algeria v. Guinea

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The Round of 16 continues in the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday, as upsets have rocked the competition in Egypt in recent days.

[ LIVE: Africa Cup of Nations ]

Hosts Egypt were stunned by South Africa on Saturday, while much-fancied Morocco were beaten by Benin on penalty kick.

Sunday’s two last 16 clashes see surprise package Madagascar face DR Congo, as the former won Group B. Algeria are one of the favorites to win it all as Riyad Mahrez leads their charge, and Guinea’s hopes haven’t been helped due to Naby Keita‘s tournament-ending injury.

Below is the full schedule for the AFCON action on Sunday, while you can follow all of the action live by clicking on the link above.


2019 Africa Cup of Nations schedule – Sunday, July 7

Round of 16
Madagascar v. DR Congo – 12 p.m. ET
Algeria v. Guinea – 3 p.m. ET

Nigeria upset by Madagascar in final AFCON group stage match

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With a spot in the knockout stage already confirmed but the group not yet secured, Nigeria had a dud against Madagascar, falling 2-0 in a performance that highlighted the team’s inability to handle a quality counter-press.

Nigeria held 61% possession throughout the match and worked 12 total shots but only put one on target as they struggled with Madagascar’s defensive shape and pressure that forced them into constant turnovers.

Madagascar, meanwhile, continued its dream start to its first ever Africa Cup of Nations, finishing group stage play top of Group B unbeaten with two wins and a draw, having conceded just once through the three matches against Nigeria, Burundi, and Guinea. The squad features hardly any players from recognizable European clubs compared to other more favorited squads in the competition like Nigeria, Egypt, and Senegal among others, but has played with cohesion and togetherness.

They got the opener off a bad Nigeria mistake on the high press, with William Troost-Ekong playing a dangerous centering pass to fellow defender Leon Balogun right in front of net, picked off by Lalaina Nomenjanahary who scored in the 13th minute. Madagascar doubled the lead after halftime through winger Carolus Andriamatsinoro who delivered a 53rd-minute free-kick that took an enormous deflection off the hip of a leaping substitute Ndidi and fell to the far post, clipping the woodwork and finding the back of the net.

Nigeria boss Thomas Dennerby sat a number of first-team players with the knockout stage spot clinched, leaving Alex Iwobi, Wilfried Ndidi, and Kenneth Omeruo. The replacements couldn’t compete, and Nigeria fell to second in the group, still qualifying for the knockout stage but now forced to play another group stage runner-up instead of matching up with a third-place qualifier.