Burundi players warming up during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Nigeria and Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria on the 22 June 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jun 26, 2019. 15:00
Africa Cup of Nations newbies Madagascar and Burundi will lock horns in a crucial Group B clash at Alexandria Stadium in Alexandria on Thursday afternoon.
Kick-off is at 16h30 CAT.
The two nations gave superb accounts of themselves in their respective tournament debuts, with Madagascar notably claiming a hard fought point against a Guinea side that went unbeaten through qualifying.
Anicet Abel and Carolus Andriamatsinoro scored within the space of six second-half minutes to give Barea the lead, but Francois Kamano would earn Guinea a point in a match that ultimately ended in a 2-2 draw.
"Mentally we're great, we're excited about what we delivered [against Guinea] but we have to be 100% ready because it’s a decisive match.
"We have to play this match with the same excitement as the first one. This way we can create history," said Madagascar midfielder Lalaina Nomenjanahary.
The Swallows suffered a 1-0 loss to Nigeria in their Group B opener with Odion Ighalo's late goal earning all three points for the Super Eagles.
Burundi forward Saido Berahino is hopeful that his side can build on their showing against the West African's by claiming their first Afcon win.
“Mentally we are ready for this match. We have to build upon the positive things from Nigeria’s encounter. This match is really important for us," Berahino added.
Madagascar are currently ranked at 108th place in the latest FIFA World Rankings, while Burundi occupy 134th spot.