Marco Ilaiharitra of Madagascar celebrates goal with teammates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between Madagascar and Burundi at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria on the 27 June 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Thursday Jun 27, 2019. 18:46
Madagascar moved a huge step closer to booking their place in the knockout stages of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win over fellow tournament debutants Burundi at Alexandria Stadium on Thursday.
Barea dominated the Group B clash from start to finish to move up to four points after two matches. They sit in second spot in the group, two points behind leaders Nigeria who they face at the same venue on Sunday.
All the first-half chances fell to Carolus 'Andrea' Andriamatsinoro who was denied on two occasions by Burundi shot-stopper Jonathan Nahimana, before seeing his 44th minute attempt cleared off the line by Gaël Duhayindavyi.
It was more of the same after the break with the Swallows best chance coming in the 68th minute. Gaël Bigirimana's free-kick looked destined for the back of the net, but Melvin Adrien shuffled to his left to keep the ball from crossing the line.
Marco Ilaimaharitra duly opened the scoring in the 76th minute to give Madagascar a well deserved lead. His free-kick attempt from the edge of the area was just too powerful for Nahimana who had no chance.
Madagascar duly held on for a historic win at their first Afcon tournament.
Madagascar (0) 1 (Ilaimaharitra 76')
Burundi (0) 0
Madagascar: Adrien; Pascal, Metanire, Fontaine, Mombris, Ilaimaharitra, Andrianatenaina, Amada (Rakotoharimalala 60'), Andrea (Voavy 51'), Andriatsima, Nomenjanahary (Raveloson 74').
Burundi: J.Nahimana; Nizigiyimana, Ngando, Nsabiyumva, Nduwarugira, Bigirimana, Duhayindavyi, S.Nahimana (Sabumukama 46'), C.Amissi (Mavugo 82'), Razak, Berahino (M.Amissi 61').