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Madagascar players the pride of a nation, says coach Dupuis

Sun 30 June 2019 | 21:31

Madagascar's players came in for special praise as they reached the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages on Sunday.

Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis lauded his team after they produced a stunning Africa Cup of Nations upset against Nigeria on Sunday.

Nigeria, the three-time AFCON champions, were beaten 2-0 as goals from Lalaina Nomenjanahary and Carolus Andriamahitsinoro caused a stir in Alexandria. 

Ranked108th in the world and playing at the tournament for the first time, Madagascar topped Group B as a result of their latest win against a Nigeria side who had already qualified.

"I have to thank the players who made me proud and the people of Madagascar proud," said Dupuis. "It's a real achievement for us.

"When I saw the group we were given, we all put Nigeria as favourites. Nigeria are still a strong favourite for the tournament.

"I really wanted to make the Madagascar people dream and we did but it came at a bit of a cost with all the effort we put in."

Dupuis revealed will have to shake things up for Madagascar's next match against one of four best third-place finishers.

"I find that the players are more and more concentrated [as the tournament goes on]," he added.

"But I have always played the same players and that's going to be a major problem now.

"We're going to have 10 of them resting at training.

"The main problem is that Marco [Ilaimaharitra] received a second yellow card and won't be able to play in the next match."

source: SportMob