- AFCON 2019 (Quarterfinal 4)
- Madagascar 0-3 Tunisia
Fejani Sassi, Youssef Msakni and second-half substitute Nam Sliti were on target as “The Eagles of Carthage” from Tunisia easily beat debutants Madagascar during the last quarterfinal of AFCON 2019 at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Thursday night.
Ironically, this was Tunisia’s first outright win of the tournament, after four draws in normal time.
The opening 45 minutes ended all square – goalless as either side pushed for a breakthrough that never arrived.
Tunisia looked dangerous for the better half of the opening stanza.
A dangerous attack witnessed Sassi Ferjani curl the ball over after 11 minutes.
Nine minutes later, Madagascar captain Faneva Andriatsima, playing at Clermont Foot in France registered a shot on target saved by the Algeria goalkeeper Hassen Mouez, also a player in France with Ogc Nice.
The closest moment for either side to find the breakthrough arrived two minutes after the half-hour mark.
Veteran Wahbi Khazri had a free-kick raze off the crossbar after it was parried away by the goalkeeper Melvin Adrien for a fruitless corner kick.
Madagascar replied also immediately when their roving right-back Romain Metanire had a cross cum attempt on target well handled by goalie Adrien.
There was a minute break when Tunisian midfielder Ellyes Joris Khazri had a slight knock but he recovered well in time.
Overlapping right back Wajdi Kechrida had a decent overlap before he shot the side netting as the Eagles intensified their raids.
With the half time recess eminent, it was Kechrida again on the offensive.
A laid ball from the right flank found Joris’ tap that sailed out narrowly wide of goal.
Moments after the second half returned, Tunisia scored.
The effort by Khazri was however disallowed for offside by the first assistant referee Evarist Menkouande.
Five minutes later, a breakthrough moment arrived. Ferjani Sassi scored with a heavy deflection to give Tunisia the lead on 52 minutes.
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Seven minutes later, Tunisian skipper Youssef Msakni registered the second goal on the night to virtually kill off the steam by the Islanders.
Madagascar head coach Nicolas Dupuis then called for a double change. On came, Paulin Voavy and Jeremy Michel Morel to ignite more firepower up front.
Meanwhile, Tunisia rested the largely effective Msakin forDijon’s Nam Sliti on 66 minutes.
Later, Drager Muhammed was also introduced for Ghaylen Chaaleli as Tunisia stabilized.
The third and final change for Madagascar saw Njvia Tsilavina Martin Rakotoraimalala, a player at Samut Sakon in Thailand replace Belgium based Marco Ilaimanharitra of Racing Club Charleroi.
Tunisia’s third and final change was for Sahel’s Karim Aouadhi who replaced, Ferjani Sassi with 8 minutes to play.
Deep in added time, substitute Sliti finished off a quick counter-attack.
It was surely done and dusted as Tunisia celebrated their first win at this tournament during open play in style.
Tunisia will face West Africans Senegal at the 30th June Stadium on Sunday in the first semifinal.
Tunisia targets yet another trophy after their success in 2004.
During the second semifinal, Algeria will play Nigeria at the Cairo International Stadium.
The finals are ear-marked for Friday, 19th July 2019.
Team Line Ups:
Madagascar XI: Melvin Adrien (G.K), Romain Metanire, Jerome Mombris, Thomas Fontaine, Pasacal Razakanantenaina, Anicet Andrianantenaina, Ibrahim Samuel Amada, Marco Ilamaharitra, Charles Carlous Andriamahitsinor, Lalaina Henintsoa Nomenjanahary, Faneva Ima Andriatsima (Captain)
Head Coach: Nicolas Dupuis (France)
Tunisia XI: Hassan Mouez (G.K), Wadjdi Kechrida, Hadadi Oussama, Dylan Daniel Mahmoud Bronn, Yassine Meriah, Ellyes Joris Skhiri, Ferjani Sassi, Ghaylen Chaaleli, Youssef Msakni (Captain), Taha Yassine Khenissi, Wahbi Khazri
Head coach: Alain Jean Giresse (France)
- Center Referee: Alioum Alioum (Cameroon)
- Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (Cameroon)
- Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Guy Noupue Nguegoue (Cameroon)
- Fourth Official: Eric Arnaud Otogo Castane (Gabon)
- Commissioner: Kemel Tokabaev (Kazahastan)
- General Coordinator: Amadeo Nguema Ondo Bindang (Equatorial Guinea)