Madagascans elated by AFCON success, eye semi-finals

Reuters , Wednesday 10 Jul 2019,
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Fans of "Barea", Madagascar
Fans of "Barea", Madagascar's national football team celebrate during the match against the Democratic Republic of Congo on July 7, 2019 in Antananarivo. (AFP)

Madagascar's achievement of beating Democratic Republic of Congo on penalties to reach the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in their first appearance at the tournament has delighted the country's people.

Madagascar's team, called the "Barea" after the island's wild Zebu cattle, beat Nigeria to finish first in their group and after Sunday's upset of DR Congo, they face Tunisia in the last eight on Thursday.

"I say the score will be 2-1 in favour of the Barea. I have to say that I had feared that Ghana would win but when Tunisia won, I said that we’ll go to the semi-final," Akim Mahavita, owner of a clothes shop in the capital, told Reuters as he sold the team's jerseys.

Antananarivo residents poured onto the streets on Sunday in excitement, hooting car horns, waving flags and shouting "Go Barea!".

"I am so happy because our Malagasy team has won, and this is very important for us, we are all very satisfied,” said one supporter.

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina is among supporters attending the tournament in Egypt. 

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1