AFCON2019 Wrap: Algeria, Kenya in crucial wins

AFCON2019 Wrap: Algeria, Kenya in crucial wins

All three games decided on Thursday in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ended in slim wins as Algeria, Kenya and Madagascar secured crucial victories in their group stage games.

In perhaps the day’s biggest game, the Fennec Foxes of Algeria qualified for the round of 16 courtesy of a nail-biting 1-0 win over Senegal in Cairo while Kenya came from behind to beat Tanzania 3-2 in a dramatic game at the same venue.

Madagascar had in the day’s first game defeated Burundi 1-0 in the battle of debutants in Alexandria to move within touching distance of a place in the next round.

The wrap

Group B

Madagascar 1-0 Burundi

Madagascar moved a step closer to a historic qualification to the knockout stages of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations, after they defeated fellow debutants Burundi 1-0 at the Alexandria Stadium on Thursday.

Marco Ilaimaharita broke the deadlock for Madagascar 14 minutes from time. Substitute Paolin Voavy was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and from the resultant freekick Ilaimaharita gave Madagascar what proved to be the game’s lone goal with an emphatic strike.

Madagascar go second of Group B with four points, two shy from leaders Nigeria who they face in their final group game and move on the brink of reaching the round of 16 in their first ever AFCON appearance.

Group C

Senegal 0-1 Algeria

Algeria became the third team to book their place in the 2019 Total AFCON round of 16 when they emerged victorious 1-0 from their Group C Match day 2 thriller over fellow favourites and Africa’s best ranked team Senegal on Thursday at Cairo based 30 June Stadium.

Youcef Belaili scored four minutes after the break to send Les Fennecs to the round of 16 as the third team to achieve this after Nigeria and hosts Egypt. Algeria raised their tally to six points, three more than Senegal’s Teranga Lions and Kenya’s Harambee Stars who will clash in the final group game.

The game was marred by some controversial officiating by Zambian centre referee Janny Sikazwe who waved away a strong penalty appeal by Senegal and let many dangerous tackles go unpunished.

Kenya 2-2 Tanzania

Kenya twice came from behind to beat Tanzania 3-2 and move within a point of qualification for the round of 16 at the ongoing tournament.

Simon Msuva gave the Emmanuel Amuneke-led Tanzanians a dream lead in the 6th minute, the Morocco based forward scoring his nation’s first Nations Cup goal in 39 years.

Japan-based forward Michael Olunga brought the Harambee Stars back to level terms in the 39th minute but Tanzanian poster boy Mbwana Samatta however ensured that the Taifa Stars take a lead into the interval as he scored two minutes after Kenya’s equaliser to take his team 2-1 up.

For the second time in the game, Kenya drew level through Johanna Omolo just after the hour mark before Olunga completed his brace ten minutes from time to ensure give the Kenyans real hopes of qualifying ahead of a final group game with the Teranga Lions of Senegal.

Friday’s Fixtures (All Nigerian time)

Tunisia vs Mali – Group E – 3:30pm

Morocco vs Coted’voire – Group D – 6:00pm

South Africa vs Namibia – Group D – 9:00pm

 

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