Madagascar – +440 at Bovada
Draw – +225
Tunisia – -128.21
Madagascar have a chance to extend their fairytale run when they face Tunisia in Cairo this Thursday night in the last quarter-final match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Malagasy are not renowned for their sporting culture, which is why their high-flying AFCON campaign has caught everyone by surprise. For a nation that for the longest time was denoted by failed qualifications and last-minute withdrawals, the Indian Ocean islanders have taken to the competition like sharks to water.
Football can at times be characterized by sporting miracles, but there was no divine intervention involved when Madagascar upset the odds to finish top of Group B ahead of Nigeria, Guinea and Burundi. As though that wasn’t enough, Barea once again proved their mettle when they overcame a stubborn Democratic Republic of Congo side to advance into the quarter-finals via post-match penalties.
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As has been the tale so far in the tournament, Madagascar took an unexpected lead through Ibrahim Amada inside nine minutes, before Cedric Bakambu equalized for DR Congo. Faneva Andriatsima restored the Malagasy advantage late in the second half, only for Chancel Mbemba to force the match into extra time with an injury-time equalizer. The resulting penalty shootout finished 4-2 to Madagascar, putting them into the last eight in their first-ever appearance at the AFCON finals.
Tunisia also secured progress into the quarters on penalties, beating Ghana 5-4 from the spot after a 1-1 draw on Monday night.
Having taken the lead deep in the second half through Taha Yassine Khenissi, the North Africans seemed on course for victory up until the tail end of the match when Rami Bedoui, who began the game on the bench, directed the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Winners of the competition back in 2004 when they hosted it, Tunisia are yet to register a win in regulation time at Egypt 2019. Alain Giresse’s side finished second in Group E on three points – the equal-fewest among teams that reached the knockout rounds – following draws with Angola, Mali and Mauritania.
Madagascar AFCON 2019 team news
Coach Nicolas Dupuis has no major injury concerns ahead of his side’s encounter with the Eagles of Carthage. All eyes will be on the team’s top scorer Carolus Andriamatsinoro, who has two goals and an assist for the tournament but failed to trouble the scorers against DR Congo.
Tunisia AFCON 2019 team news
There are likewise no injury issues in Alain Giresse’s camp. Yassine Meriah and Dylan Bronn should retain their places at the back, with Taha Yassine Khenissi and Youssef Msakni expected to pair up in the final third.
Madagascar vs Tunisia betting predictions
Madagascar to win – +440 at Bovada
Total goals under 2.5 – -200
Tunisia and Benin are the two countries to have made it to the last eight despite not winning a single match in regular time. Even more worrying for those of Tunisian persuasion is that the Eagles of Carthage have only scored three goals in four games.
That is in stark contrast to Madagascar, who have found the back of the net seven times in four games and subjected Nigeria to a humiliating 2-0 defeat in the group stage.
Debutants of the competition, making it past the group stage was in many respects a stunning achievement for Madagascar. Now it is a question of how far they can go.
Although Tunisia hold the tag of being a well-groomed and more experienced side, there is an ominous feeling that Barea aren’t ready to head home just yet.
Madagascar AFCON 2019 results
Madagascar 2-2 (4-2 P) DR Congo (July 7, 2019)
Ibrahim Amada 7’
Faneva Andriatsima 77’
Cedric Bakambu 21’
Chancel Mbemba 90’
Madagascar 2-0 Nigeria (June 30, 2019)
Lalaïna Nomenjanahary 13’
Carolus Andriamatsinoro 53’
Madagascar 1-0 Burundi (June 27, 2019)
Marco Ilaimaharitra 76’
Guinea 2-2 Madagascar (June 22, 2019)
Sory Kaba 34’
François Kamano 66’ (P)
Anicet Abel 49’
Tunisia AFCON 2019 results
Ghana 1-1 (4-5 P) Tunisia (July 8, 2019)
Taha Yassine Khenissi 73’
Rami Bedoui 90+1’ (OG)
Mauritania 0-0 Tunisia (July 2, 2019)
Tunisia 1-1 Mali (June 28, 2019)
Wahbi Khazri 70’
Diadie Samassekou 60’
Tunisia 1-1 Angola (June 24, 2019)
Youssef Msakni 34’ (P)
Djalma Campos 73’
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