Madagascar keen to prolong surprise Africa Cup of Nations run

Madagascar are intent on keeping a lid on expectations as they bid to extend their dream debut in the Africa Cup of Nations in Alexandria on Sunday.

The tournament’s surprise package burst into the last 16 after topping Group B following shock wins against Nigeria and Burundi.

And their form suggests they should start favourites in their first knockout match against DR Congo, who squeezed through as a third-placed finisher.

Despite rising excitement at home, midfielder Marco Ilaimaharitra was realistic about how far his team can go in the competition.

He told reporters: “I would be lying if I said we will be here (in the tournament) right up to the final.

“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.”

In contrast to Madagascar’s surprisingly serene progress, DR Congo were beaten by Uganda and hosts Egypt before edging through by virtue of a final group-stage win over Zimbabwe.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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