LIVE Madagascar – Tunisia – Africa Cup of Nations – 11 July 2019

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Madagascar do well to disappear a couple of minutes; there’ll be one additional one played.

43′

Chalali finds space cutting in off the left and unfurls a curler that Adrien tips around the post, though it was never going in. Tunisia are beginning to threaten; Madagascar could use half-time.

42′

Excellent from Kechrida, stamping on the gas to burst down the right, and his cross is a fair one. It’s about shin-height, which is a nause, but gives Khenissi a chance because it’s in his area. But Razak does just enough, the show grazing his shin and going wide – again, unbeknownst to officials.

41′ 

Some decent possession for Madagascar. They lose the ball as soon as they try to go forward, but they can probably use the rest.

39′ 

Skhiri lofts a pass over the Madagascar defence for the marauding Kechrida, and his low cross appears to nick off Razak before sliding behind, but the officials rule to the contrary.

36′ 

Khazri hurts himself, so accepts treatment. He seems fine, but.

34′

Metanire advances and, wide on the right with his crossing lane blocked, tries to lift a shot over Hassen from 30 yards. It’s a pretty good effort too, but sails a foot over the bar.

33′ 

I’m pretty sure that’s the first save made by either keeper.

32′

…and what an effort! He swings it over the wall, the ball dips hard and moves towards the roof of the net … but Adrien dives to tip over!

31′ 

Msakni takes the ball on the half-turn and oozes away from Razak, who treads on his foot … just. Free-kick Tunisia, 25 yards out, fractionally right of centre. Khazri fancies it; or course he does…

29′ 

Nice from Msakni, driving into the box and bashing a pass into Khenissi, who tries to play him back in; he can’t reach the ball and it was never really on. Both should’ve realised that, so one of them ought to have shot.

28′ 

As part of the liveblogging task, I have to write a report, and included in that is a list of key moments that I compile during the game. I’ve not copy-pasted a single entry yet, which tells you plenty about what’s going on here.

26′ 

The Algerian supporters are making a decent row, but the ground is still far too empty. This is an occasion and everything about it should tell us that – CAF must do more to help people see the games.

24′ 

Sassi tosses a ball over the top for Khenissi, but Adrien is out sharply to collect

22′ 

Khazri races to the by-line and clips a cross back seeking Khenissi; Fotaine thinks about sticking out a leg, contains himself, and does well to prevent him from collecting and shooting in the same movement. Instead, he has to move the ball away from goal and Madagascar then clear.

21′ 

Amada hassles Meriah back to his own box and Carolus rushes over to snaffle the loose back the loose ball but can’t make anything of it.

21′ 

Madagascar are really well organised. They get into shape quickly when they lose the ball, when one presses they all go, and if they can commit numbers to attack, they do.

19′ 

Skhiri drives through midfield and snaps a pass forward and wide for Haddadi, who can’t quite catch up with it.

18′ 

…and Fontaine cracks it straight into the wall.

17′ 

Amada bursts between Skhiri and Chalali; the former yanks him down, giving Madagascar a free-kick 35 or so yards out…

15′ 

I feel like if Tunisia score, Madagascar might end up losing by a few, but there’s a fair chance that won’t happen because Madagascar are organised and Tunisia lack creativity and firepower.

13′ 

Twitter is down. Luckily, my wife is out and my daughter is asleep, so I’m not forced to speak to a real person.

12′ 

Madagascar are chasing the ball once it comes to within 40 or so yards of their goal. If the pattern of the game sustains, they’re going to be suffering in the final 20.

10′ 

Chalali tosses a useful pass forward for Kechrida, and he crosses into Amada’s shins. The ball ricochets off him and behind, but the officials miss it and award a corner, from which nothing eventuates.

9′ 

Most of the play is now taking place inside the Madagascar half.

8′ 

Khenissi attacks Razak down his left and seems to fall, seeking a penalty; replays show that he was bundled over, more or less, but VAR eschews intervention. That was very close to a penalty, I’d say – at least.

7′ 

Mobris dashes the left and crosses, Carolus picking up at the back post. He might shoot but opts to fiddle instead, and the shooting opportunity goes.

6′ 

Couple of nice passes from Tunisia, but when Khazri turns it on the ref gets in the way. Rather than wave play-on, he orders a drop-ball which Madagascar leave to Tunisia. I don’t know about that.

5′ 

So far, there’s not a whole lot going on. Tunisia are looking to move the ball quickly, and Madgascar are looking to move themselves quickly.

4′ 

Metanire bustles down the line – briefly, because Khazri is over to challenge.

3′ 

Msakni weaves in midfield, showing some nice feet, but his pass towards Khenissi is cut out by Fontaine and Madagascar move the ball forward.

2′ 

Meriah humps an up and under from just outside his own box that Adrien claims easily.

1′ 

Madagascar have been the story of this competition, but are they going to do what surprise teams usually do: not make it to the end? Or can they do Denmark 1992, or a Greece 2004?

1′

Here we go!

20:00 

Here they come!

19:58 

Right then: eyes down for more fun.

19:54 

Die seemed to change his mind at least twice there, wiggling his run to alter his body-shape. Algeria-Senegal would be a nifty final.

19:52 

But Die then hits the same post! Algeria are through to play Madagascar or Tunisia!

19:51 

Belaili has a penalty to win it for Algeria … and hits the post!

19:47 

Wilfried Bony has just missed a penalty! He opened his body and tapped it at a comfortable height for the keeper! It’s 3-2 Algeria!

19:45 

Hopefully both sides will go for it tonight. Madagascar have scored seven times in their four games, while Tunisia surely won’t sit back. They’ll see this as a chance, make no mistake about that.

19:41 

I’ll look forward to watching Nigeria against either of these two. Tonight’s winners meet Senegal, who you can be sure would’ve taken that at the start of the competition.

19:37 

Algeria’s Andy Delort has just curled a free-kick low past the far post – the final kick off the game. They’re going to penalties in Suez.

19:34 

Pour aller a la gare?

19:30 

19:27 

Before the tournament, I backed Cote d’Ivoire because I felt that they had the best squad, but Algeria’s performance against Guinea was the best I’ve seen. However, Senegal have Sadio Mane, for my money the best African player around, and in Kalidou Koulibaly they have probably the best defender too.

19:24 

19:21 

19:17 

It’s half-time in extra-time, and Cote d’Ivoire look the likelier scorers, but it’s still 1-1.

19.15 

Both sides will play 4-3-3. Madagascar make one change from their penalty-kick win over DR Congo, Ilaimaharitra in for the suspended Raveoson on the right of midfield – only the second adjustment of the tournament. Tunisia also make one alteration, Badri dropping out and Kazri, the talisman, returning.

19:13 

19:11 

19:09 

Let’s have some teams…

19:07 

19:05 

19:02 

We’ll crack on with that one in a moment, but just in case it’s escaped your attention, Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia have just begun extra-time of what’s been an extremely entertaining quarter-final. You can follow the excitement here:

Evening all, and welcome to Madagascar v Tunisia!

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