…As Nigeria set to take on Algeria, in Semi-final on Sunday***
Tunisia on Thursday ended Madagascar’s remarkable Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) dream, when they beat the rank outsiders 3-0 in their quarter-final march, to join Algeria, waiting to play Nigeria in the semi-finals, at the Cairo International Stadium, on Sunday.
Interestingly, Tunisia notched their first win of the tournament in the process, having drawn their previous four matches at the tournament, while beating Ghana on penalties, to be in the last 16.
Madagascar, a country with little football tradition and who had not been expected to progress beyond the group stage on their first appearance at the finals, held out until the second half.
They were first undone by Ferjani Sassi’s deflected shot. Youssef Msakni added a second on the hour for the Carthage Eagles, ranked 25th in the world against Madagascar’s 107th. While substitute Naim Sliti finished it off on the break in stoppage time to earn them a semi-final against Senegal on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Striker Wilfried Bony and midfielder Serey Die missed penalties in the shootout gave Algeria the magic wand to seal a 4-3 victory over Cote d’Ivoire, following an entertaining 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final draw on Thursday.
Algeria will now meet Nigeria in the semi-finals at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday as they seek to end their long wait for continental success that stretches back to 1990.
Sofiane Feghouli put Algeria ahead in the first half, but they failed to increase that advantage when Baghdad Bounedjah missed a penalty early in the second period.
Cote d’Ivoire striker, Jonathan Kodjia equalised just past the hour mark, after which both sides created chances and had efforts cleared off the line, but were unable to be separated in 120 minutes.
-With additional stories from Reuters