Africa Cup of Nations: Madagascar edge 1-0 victory over Burundi




Ilaimaharitra scored his first goal for Madagascar

Marco Ilaimaharitra’s thunderous free-kick gave Madagascar their first Africa Cup of Nations win by beating Burundi.

The former France youth international smashed his effort into the top corner after 76 minutes to maintain his side’s unbeaten record.

Carolus Andriamahitsinoro’s free-kick and thumping drive were kept out by Burundi keeper Jonathan Nahimana, as well as a header cleared off the line.

Burundi’s best chance fell to Enock Sabumukama, who struck narrowly wide.

Stoke striker Saido Berahino barely had a sniff of goal for Burundi before being subbed after 61 minutes. His side are bottom of Group B having lost both their games.

Madagascar are second in the group with four points after this victory and a draw against Guinea. They face Nigeria, who are top with six points, in the final group game on Sunday.

Analysis

BBC Sport’s Robert Misigaro at the Alexandria Stadium

Burundi’s chances of reaching the knockout stages are as good as over after suffering their second defeat in as many games in their first Afcon.

They were slight favourites on paper, but for many who saw Madagascar’s opening games, Burundi had a lot to worry about.

Burundi were composed in defence and their goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana put in one of his best performances.

But Burundi lacked a lot in attack, and after star man Berahino was taken off following a poor performance, replacement Abdoul Fiston didn’t make much of a difference.

Madagascar, on the other hand, looked more menacing and eager to press and they are on course to qualify in their first Afcon outing.

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