Madagascar come out top in battle of the Islanders

Madagascar come out top in battle of the Islanders
Gervais Waye Hive of Seychelles challenged by Jaotombo Bourahim of Madagascar during the Cosafa Castle Cup match between Madagascar and Seychelles at the Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on 26 June 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Monday Jun 26, 2017. 21:48

Madagascar beat fellow Island nation Seychelles 2-0 in a Group B 2017 COSAFA Cup clash at the Moruleng Stadium in the North West Province of South Africa, on Monday evening.

Victory moves Barea level on points with Zimbabwe who earlier thumped Mozambique 4-0 at the same venue.

Following what was a rather cagey start, Madagascar conjured the first chance of the match with Tobisoa Njakanirina squandering a golden opportunity. The attacker choosing to square the ball when he should have shot at goal after bursting through on goal in the 20th minute.

Bourahim then forced Dingwall into a top save just short of the half-hour mark. The forward meeting the ball firmly on the volley, but the Pirates goal-minder was up to the task.

Dingwall then showed great anticipation to deny Madagacascar in the 42nd minute as he rushed out of his area to clear with imminent danger lurking.

The shot-stopper, though was helpless two minutes later as Barea opened the scoring on the cusp of half-time. Brioche guilty of squandering a chance for the Seychelles before Madagascar made their fellow Islanders pay on the resulting counter-attack.

Nono Vombola unselfishly teeing up Dino Raveloarisona for the opener - the forward left with the easiest of finishes, 1-0 at the break.

Seychelles looked a lot better following the interval with Waye-Hive sparking a good spell of pressure in the 53rd minute. The Pirates captain's left-footed shot well saved by Leda Randrianasolo in the Madagascan goal.

Madagascar, though, were to score next as Rinjala Raherinaivo doubled their lead in the 76th minute.

The post coming to Seychelles rescue, but sighs of relief would turn to sighs of despair as the midfielder latched onto the rebound, setting himself before curling a left-footed finish into the top corner of the net.

Barea guided through the final exchanges with relative ease as they got their campaign off to the perfect start.

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