Madagascar, Cosafa’s last hope in Afcon

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The ongoing African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in Egypt has once again exposed the weaknesses in Southern African football as evidenced by the early exit of most teams from the region.

Following the elimination of South Africa in the round of 16 last night, the region will throw its weight behind Madagascar. The Island nation faces Tunisia in a highly anticipated clash tonight.

Madagascar’s Ibrahim Amada celebrates scoring with team mates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 soccer match between Madagascar and DR Congo at the Alexandria Stadium. Photo: Omar Zoheiry/dpa

Madagascar has twice defied the odds at the soccer phenomenon, emerging triumphant against giants Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo. The historic victories make them a threat to Tunisia who are among favourites to grab the cup.

During the qualification stage, the Islanders were the first to book a ticket to Egypt. Some quarters argued their qualification was a fluke which has undoubtedly been proven wrong.

It will live up to be a tournament to remember for Madagascar and the one to forget for Southern Africa at large. Other teams which represented the region are Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe but failed to get past the group stages.

West and North African teams continue to enjoy great form. As for Southern Africa, 2012 remains the ‘immediate past’ to remember in as far as Afcon is concerned, when Zambia won the cup in Gabon.

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