Tunisia end Madagascar dream to reach Afcon Semifinal

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Tunisia ended Madagascar’s fairytale run in the Afcon 2019 to reach their first ever semifinal since 2004 with a 3-0 victory at Al-Salam Stadium Cairo on Thursday.

The Eagles of Carthage, who overcame Ghana in penalty shootout led through Ferjani Sassi’s deflected shot from the edge of the box.

Youssef Msakni then doubled their lead after Wahbi Khazri’s shot was parried by Melvin Adrien.

Madagascar, a country with little football tradition and who had not been expected to progress beyond the group stage on their first AFCON appearance, held out until the second half when they were undone by Ferjani Sassi’s deflected shot.

“Today, the bar was too high, Tunisia were too strong for us, they were a very well-organised team. The result was logical,” Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis said.

“I am very proud of the players and what they have done at this tournament, it’s exceptional. I take off my hat to them.”

Tunisia had drawn their previous four matches at the tournament, beating Ghana on penalties in the last 16.

The Indian Ocean islanders had beaten Nigeria on their way to winning their group and then knocked out Democratic Republic of Congo on penalties in the previous round but it was always going to be different proposition against streetwise, if uninspiring, Tunisia.

Tunisia will face Senegal in the AFCON last four phase on July 14.