Madagascar overcame Comoros 1-0 in the 2018 Cosafa Cup Group A match at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa on Thursday.
The win saw Barea finish at the top of Group A and they advance to the quarterfinals where they will face South Africa this weekend, while Les Coelacantes are eliminated from the competition after finishing fourth on the table.
It was Comoros who threatened first through Youssouf Mohamed, who tried his luck from range six minutes into the encounter.
The attacker’s long range shot was well-saved by Madagascar goalkeeper Jean Randrianasolo, as Les Coelacantes searched for an early goal.
Barea then took control of the game and they pressed Les Coelacantes, who nearly scored an own-goal in the 28th minute.
Comoros defender Soulaimana Malaga’s goal-bound effort was brilliantly pushed away by goalkeeper Fahardine Hassani as Les Coelacantes survived a scare.
Madagascar continued to push for the opening goal and Dax came very close to breaking the deadlock after the Comoros defence was exposed.
The hard-working attacker’s shot was cleared off the goal-line by Comoros defender Habib Youssouf, with Fahardine well-beaten as the half-time break approached.
Barea deservedly took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Jaotombo Bourah to make it 1-0 following a scramble inside the Comoros box.
Madagascar were leading 1-0 at the interval following a first half which was dominated by Barea.
Comoros head coach Amir Abdou introduced Abdallah Ali prior to the start of the second-half as Les Coelacantes looked to level matters.
However, it was Barea, who did most of the attacking in search of more goals, and they nearly doubled their lead three minutes before the hour mark.
Tsito Razafin received the ball inside Les Coelacantes' box and he unleashed a low shot which narrowly missed the target, with Fahardine rooted to the ground.
Comoros grew in confidence as the match progressed and they had a chance to restore parity in the 71st minute following a good move.
Abdallah beat his marker, but he was denied by Randrianasolo, who pulled off a great save to ensure that Comoros held onto their narrow lead.
Comoros pushed for a late equalizing goal, but Madagascar stood firm at the back and ultimately Barea ran out 1-0 winners on the night.
Madagascar (1) 1 (Bourah 45’+1)
Madagascar: Randrianasolo, Rafelambolasoa, Fetraniaina, Baggio, Razafin, Dax, Ravelomanantsoa, Mario (Toky 81’), Bourah, Toby, Ando.
Comoros: Fahardine, Habib, Camal, Faouz, Soilihi, Fassoiha (Abdallah 46’), Youssouf (Ibrahim 66’), Simba (Bakari 49’), Malaga, M’Changama, Houmadi.