With defending champions Cameroon eliminated by Nigeria yesterday as well as tournament hosts Egypt who were shocked by South Africa, today it’s time for tournament revelation Madagascar who play Congo as well as Mahrez’s Algeria who are up against Guinea.

 

Madagascar vs DR Congo

First-time AFCON participants Madagascar face DR Congo in the Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16.

Date: 7th July 2019
Time: 18:00 CET
Venue: Alexandria Stadium

Madagascar might be known more for a trilogy of animated films than football, but the script will continue to change if another famous victory is secured at the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

The tournament newcomers are set to make their knockout rounds debut in a surprise last-16 date with Democratic Republic of Congo in Alexandria, Egypt.

It has the potential to be another milestone moment amid a dream sequence for Madagascar, who drew with Guinea, beat Burundi and then stunned Nigeria 2-0 to advance as Group B winners.

Anicet Andrianantenaina, the scorer of his nation’s maiden AFCON goal two weeks ago, put the unexpected run of results into perspective.

“No one knows about us, maybe only [from] the movie Madagascar,” the Ludogorets player told CAF Online.

“Our secret is teamwork. We play as a team and we fight for each other. There is no star in the team and everyone is equal.”

Andrianantenaina will have to shoulder greater responsibility with fellow midfielder Marco Ilaimaharitra out through suspension.

Their opponents, DR Congo, are ahead by 59 places in the FIFA rankings but only scraped through Group A in third place, courtesy of a victory over Zimbabwe.

Though momentum is with his team, Belgium-based Ilaimaharitra admits any further progress is a bonus.

“I would be lying if I said we will be here up to the final,” he said.

“But all I can say is that we will do our best in every game. We will do our best to win and see how far we can go.”

Madagascar predicted lineup (4-3-3) – Adrien; Metanire, Razakanantenaina, Fontaine, Mombris; Ilaimahartira, Anicet, Amada; Nomenjanahary, Andriatsima, Carolus

DR Congo predicted lineup (4-4-2) – Matampi; Issama, Mbemba, Tisserand, Ngonda; Akolo, Mulumbu, Moke, Maghoma; Bolingi, Bakambu

 

Algeria vs Guinea

Algeria face Guinea in the Round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Date: 7th July 2019
Time: 21:00 CET
Venue: 30 June Stadium

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi said his side will settle for nothing less than a first Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 29 years as they prepare to face Guinea in the round of 16.

The Desert Foxes have been the tournament’s outstanding team so far, winning all three of their matches without conceding a goal to top Group C.

Belmadi is aiming to become the first coach to guide Algeria to AFCON glory away from home soil, with their only taste of glory coming in 1990 when they beat Nigeria in the final in Algiers.

The coach said Morocco’s shock defeat to Benin on penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra-time gave his side a reminder of the precarity of the knockout stages.

“The group stage is like a little tournament, which we did well in,” said Belmadi. “Each game now is a final.

“Morocco’s loss surprised me. We have to be prepared mentally so that we don’t follow. We didn’t exactly need a wake-up call. If we do lose, it’ll be because Guinea are the better team.

“We did not come to be the first of the group, we did not come to reach the semi-final, we came for a very different goal that we have not achieved for a very long time.”

Opposite number Paul Put praised Belmadi’s achievements so far and said his side’s mental strength would be pivotal if they are to reach the quarter-finals.

Guinea have reached the AFCON final once, finishing as runners-up to Morocco in 1976, and they have won one of their three matches so far, beating debutants Burundi 2-0 last time out.

“We know we can perform against Algeria,” said Put. “We have to be realistic in the game and stay focused throughout.

“Belmadi is an excellent manager, and tomorrow the difference [between the two sides] will be decided by how well we prepare mentally. Facing Algeria, we need to be 200 per cent focused.”

Algeria predicted lineup (4-3-3) – M’Bholi; Zeffane, Tahrat, Halliche, Fares; Boudaoui, Abeid, Bennacer; Mahrez, Slimani, Delort

Guinea predicted lineup (4-2-3-1) – Kone; Dyrestam, Seka, Falette, Sylla; Cisse, Diawara; Yattara, Kamano, Traore; Kaba

 

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