Madagascar beat Nigeria to top Group B: Africa Cup of Nations 2019
Madagascar vs Nigeria: live updates
Well, thank you for joining us for the coverage. Two crazy goals for different reasons but the Barea players and fans will not care about that. They are having a dream debut Africa Cup of Nations, and AS English will be back with more action soon. Until then...
The likelyhood is that the top team in the group gets an easier match in the next round but the permutations are still too many to confirm. Also, as we've seen with tonight result, Nigeria are second-placed so could pose an unexpected challenge to another side who were hoping for a simpler run.
Full-time. Madagascar have done it. Their first goals against Nigeria; their first win over Nigeria. And they top Group B in the 2019 AFCON. Incredible.
Again green shirts work the ball wide and swing the ball in but the seven defenders stand up well to the challenge and get it to safety. That could be that.
Three minutes have been granted to Nigeria to get two goals. It does not look likely based on what we've seen.
A long ball forward is dealt with well by the Nigerian defence and then allows Musa to scamper away down the right. Poor, poor cross from the winger though, collected with ease by Adrien.
Nigeria line themselves around the Barea penalty area looking for someone to be creative, take a risk, show some magic. It doesn't come and the red shirts burst forward with the ball. They have a confident swagger now, something that has been hugely lacking from the pre-match favourites.
Rayan Raveloson comes on for Amada
Great play from Madagascar in the middle of the pitch. Under plenty of pressure they work it from the left touchline across to the right, before disappointingly Amada gives it away wastefully.
A short period of rare possession in the opposition have for the Barea, all the time the clock ticks down. They are, incredibly, eyeing top spot in Group B.
It's an adventurous effort from the dead-ball situation and doesn't get further than the wall. Time running out for the Super Eagles.
Ilaimaharitra is the first into the book for that challenge
Free-kick to Nigeria about 30 yards out...
Gros is first in red to start with the time wasting tactics. Expect to hear more of this in the next 10 minutes or so.
Nigeria are knocking at the wall next to the door and there's little surprise that no one is answering. More quality required
Promising attack provides Musa with space to dink a ball into the path of one of his strikers but he really lets them down with a horribly judged effort.
Simon immediately involved but can't find his teammate in the area. He gets a second chance from the corner and doesn't do any better.
Subs for both sides: Nigeria | Moses Simon on for Kalu. Madagascar | Mamy Randrianarisoa replaces the injured Razakanantenaina.
This break allows me to remind you of what I mentioned at the start of the game. These two goals are the first two that Madagascar have ever scored against Nigeria. History being made in more ways than one.
We've got a slight stoppage in play here with two Madagascar players down on the turf. Pascal Razakanantenaina looks as though he may have twanged his groin muscle and eyes are on the bench.
Andriatsima now delivers into the mixer and the move ends with Ighalo pulling the trigger. Well blocked by the hard-working boys in red..
Kalu continues to be the most likely to make something positive happen for NIgeria. His run into the penalty area suggested danger but two Barea defenders just closed him off before he could cause any harm.
OK, it was a little further out that 'the edge' and that meant that more power was added by Ighalo, well wide of the right-hand post.
Here's a chance for the Super Eagles, a free-kick on the edge of the Madagascar area (looked a soft one to give by the ref)
A change for both teams: Nigeria's John Obi Mikel is replaced by Alex Iwobi and William Gros heads on for the injured Andriatsima.
The corner leads to the ball being played back out to the taker Kalu and his return delivery falls to Ndidi in space. Let's pretend we didn't see his air shot.
Frustration plastered all over the faces of those players in green but they've been awarded a corner on the back of two decent opportunities to cross.
Chance for Ndidi, who does really well to cut back inside the defender in the area. His curling effort doesn't start out wide enough and Adrien catches without too much problem.
As has been clear to anyone following this game, Nigeria have been far from their best. But they'll still be in disbelief about how those two goals have come about.
Goooaaaaallll!! Unbelievable! It's a second, and more fortune shines on the islanders. The free-kick didn't look dangerous but took a huge deflection off the wall and flew into the far corner of the goal, in off the post. Crazy! It's Andria who took the dead ball.
Mistakes and misscontrol continue to marr the quality of this game. Free kick here to Madagascar outside the area after some clumsy defending by Nigeria.
A couple of openings in quick succession from Nigeria. First down the right wing, with a cut back ball into the area being intercepted by a red shirt. Then down the left with Aina getting a low cross away, but far too close to the keeper. Signs of improvement here.
Ball lofted high into the Nigeria area by Metanire but Ezenwa takes full responsibilty.
Kalu looks to work into the centre and lays off to Ndidi. Not the most promising sign there from the Leicester City man. We'll say, rusty.
Ndidi is on for Ogu. Let's see what difference that will make.
Right, the players and officials are back out on the field. Instructions being given between the Nigerians. They know they need a draw to top this group.
In the other game taking place right now there has also been one goal in the first half, Guinea ahead against Burundi.
The Super Eagles, despite the scoreline, have still bossed most of the half but continue to lack a killer instinct when they get into threatening positions. Surely they'll have more bite to get their fans excited after the break.
Not the scoreline many were expecting at this stage of the game and the single goal coming about from two errors in the Nigerian defence. The pass to Balogun was what created the panic, and then the decision from the Brighton full-back to try and shield it from his opponent gifted the chance.
Gassama blows his whistle and brings an intriguing first half to an end. Time for the managers to earn their coin.
Just the one minute to be added.
Another chance for the Barea. Andriatsima getting everything into a powerful shot but his sights were just out and the ball flies low and wide of the near post. What an ending to this half that would have been.
That's a bit better from the Nigeria. Some slicker, smarter passing in the final third leads to a driven cross from Musa which is intercepted, and held well, by Adrien.
Although the islanders are getting 'stuck in' this has been a disappointing performance thus far from the Super Eagles, not living up to their name. They've been more like the Sluggish Sparrows.
Nomenjanahary reaches the ball first out on the right, about halfway inside the Nigeria half. He immediately looks to catch Ezenwa by surprise but it falls short and into the goalkeeper's arms. (Note that I've given the player the benefit of the doubt there. It could have just been a woeful cross to nobody!)
It's worth noting that Leon Balongun, the man who Nigerians are giving long stares at right now, didn't really feature much for Brighton in the Premier League last season. Clearly that error will have done wonders to improve his reputation.
Direct play from the Barea sees them win a corner out of almost nothing. They manage to make actual nothing from it.
The corner is played in to the crowd of players in the six-yard box but it's dealt with well and away. Madagascar must be thinking the Gods are on their side today.
CHANCE! Musa must score, all alone in the centre of the penalty area with just the keeper to beat. No! He can't get his legs to do what he needed them to, and the danger is cleared for a corner.
There's a little more urgency to the Super Eagles, chasing an equaliser before half-time. The Barea, though, appear to be growing in confidence, and happy to get numbers back to hold onto what they have.
Awaziem clatters into the back of his opposite number and the whistle blows for a foul. The Nigerian glances at the ref with a frustrated face, but more about his own actions than the decision.
Chance! Again, as I suggest the islanders are doing nothing, they break forward and create an opening. Andria tries to sort his body shape out for an ambitious volley but he doesn't connect well and it bounces safely wide.
Madagascar try to make something happen in the Nigeria half but it's too laboured and is easily won back by the swarming green shirts. Other than that goal (rather important though it may be) they've not really shown themselves as more than a team trying to frustrate.
Close! Just wide from Kalu who picks the ball up on the right side of the opposition area and tries to curl it into the far post. Adrien watches it all the way.
In answer to my question they almost gift a second to the Barea! A short back pass is chased down but Ezenwa is quick out of his area to clear.
John Obi Mikel immediately tries to make amends for his teammates, but his through ball is just too far ahead. How will Nigeria respond to the setback?
It's a horrific error from Leon Balogun who allows the striker to skip in front of him, before dancing round Ezenwa to tap home. Game on!
Corner for Nigeria - Madagascar failing to make anything happen yet at the other end - but it's slightly overhit and the danger is cleared.
Free-kick chance here for Nigeria. Musa steps up with about 25 yards between him and Adrien's goal. It's got a nice enough shape on the shot to take it over the wall but it stays up and goes well over the bar too.
Ighalo not out there to make friends today. I think they call that an 'agricultural' challenge.
It will be interesting to see how the heat plays a role in the intensity of this match. Several of the players out there are generally used to lower temperatures in their club leagues.
The Super Eagles didn't take long to get the ball back and are immediately trying to show who's in charge, almost getting a shot off in the area after Awaziem's cross asks some questions of the red-shirted defence.
Nigeria play keep ball for the first minute before a misshit under pressure gives Madagascar a touch.
And the whistle blows...
OK. That was all very nice, but the real effort is just seconds away. Can Nigeria continue their winning run and put a marker down for the tournament? Can Madagascar cause an upset and top the group in their AFCON debut? We're about to find out...
Now Nigeria. 'Arise, O Compatriots', Nigeria's call obey, to serve our fatherland with love and strength and faith.'
The teams are now out and the Madagascar lads (most of them anyway) are warbling out their anthem, Ry Tanindrazanay malala ô!, proudly.
Our whistle blower for this clash is Bakary Papa Gassama. The 40-year old from Gambia has impressed over the years, winning the CAF Ref of the year. Let's see if he can meet my high expectations today...
Madagascar XI: Adrien, Mombris, Razakanantenaina, Fontaine, Métanire, Amada, Andrianantenaina, Ilaimaharitra,
Andriamahitsinoro, Andriatsima, Nomenjanahary
Nigeria XI: Ezenwa, Awaziem, Aina, Balogun, Ekong, Ogu, Etebo, Mikel, Kalu, Musa, Ighalo
The team news is in...
Incidentally, and I'm sure many of you already know this, the nickname 'Barea' comes from a species of Zebu, the animal that appears on the country's badge.
The head-to-head records for this teams doesn't bode well for the Barea, having lost three and drawn one against Nigeria. In those four games, they failed to find the net, so there's certainly history to be made tonight.
Although Nigeria start this game as favourites, we'd be wise not to completely discount their more modest opponents getting something from this. A draw, remember, will see them qualify for the next stage, while a win would see them leapfrog the Super Eagles to top the group. Wow!
For Madagascar, this is a chance to show the watching world just what they're capable off, although this is a tough test ahead of them this evening.
On paper this game should act as a handy final game for the Super Eagles, already assured of a place in the knockout phase, and with a need to prove themselves more capable in the opposition penalty area.
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage from the Africa Cup of Nations 2019. Today's offering is Madagascar vs Nigeria in Group B.
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