Nicolas Dupuis, coach of Madagascar during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Madagascar Press Conference at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria on the 05 July 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Thursday Jul 11, 2019. 13:16
Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis has called on his team to “continue dreaming together” as they prepare to tackle Tunisia in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tonight.
Barea will bid to become the first team to make the AFCON final four on debut since South Africa in 1996 when they face the Carthage Eagles in Cairo, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.
Madagascar remarkable Nations Cup campaign in Egypt has seen them beat three-time winners Nigeria to finish top of their group, before ousting DR Congo on penalties in the last 16.
"I simply want to continue dreaming together. Since the start, two and a half years ago, we said we're going to qualify for the AFCON. We want to have a common goal that's reasonable," Dupuis told reporters on Wednesday.
"I think the with talent of the players, to give them a reasonable goal such as to qualify and then to keep going, if everyone is on the same page then it can be done.
"If the goal is unrealistic, such as winning the World Cup, I would lose the energy and the minds of the players.
"But qualifying and getting out of the group were achievable. Now we're going to reach beyond what is feasible. There's still a bit that is achievable but it's going to be very difficult."
The Madagascar coach added, "We're going into this match clearly as outsiders against a team that played in the World Cup and is ranked 25th by FIFA.
“We're proud to be able to play such a team. We'll be without any pressure and just want to be up to scratch.
"We're aware of the happiness and joy we give to the 25 million Madagascans. When we go home it will be crazy, but we're not in a hurry to go home. We want to stay as long as possible."