Madagascar Defeat Burundi to Record First Tournament Victory

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Madagascar players celebrating their first AFCON victory over Burundi Thursday

AFCON 2019

  • Algeria beat Senegal to reach Last 16

Marco Ilaimaharitra’s thunderous free-kick gave Madagascar their first Africa Cup of Nations win by beating Burundi.

The former France youth international smashed his effort into the top corner after 76 minutes to maintain his side’s unbeaten record.

Carolus Andriamahitsinoro’s free-kick and thumping drive were kept out by Burundi keeper Jonathan Nahimana, as well as a header cleared off the line.

Burundi’s best chance fell to Enock Sabumukama, who struck narrowly wide.

Stoke striker Saido Berahino barely had a sniff of goal for Burundi before being subbed after 61 minutes. His side are bottom of Group B having lost both their games.

Madagascar are second in the group with four points after this victory and a draw against Guinea. They face Nigeria, who are top with six points, in the final group game on Sunday

Elsewhere, Algeria beat Senegal to clinch a place in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16.

The match was billed as a showdown between Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez, of Manchester City, and Senegal’s Liverpool forward Sadio Mane – but both players had quiet games.

Youcef Belaili blasted home the only goal of the game from the edge of box from Sofiane Feghouli’s cross.

Senegal almost equalised with the final action of the game, with Mane heading over from close range.

Africa’s highest ranked team need to beat Kenya in their final group game to be guaranteed a place in the knockout stages.

Mane was unfortunate not to win a penalty when he was sandwiched by Adlene Guedioura and Ramy Bensebaini with 20 minutes to go. The video assistant referee system does not come in until the quarter-final stage.

The game did not live up to the hype, with Senegal not having a shot on target until the 78th minute when Youssouf Sabaly’s 20-yard shot was parried by Rais M’Bolhi and Mbaye Diagne put the rebound wide from close range.

There was no action of note in the first half at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, with former West Ham winger Feghouli curling wide moments before setting up the only goal.

Stoke City midfielder Badou Ndiaye blazed a shot over for Senegal just after the hour-mark and Mahrez, in a rare moment of magic, lashed an effort just wide from long range.

Group C’s other game was between Kenya and Tanzania as at press time in the same stadium. Both sides look to pick up their first points of the tournament.