Madagascar now know what they need in final Group C clash

Madagascar’s position remains unchanged as they need just a draw in their final Group C clash at the African Nations Championship to advance to the quarterfinals of the competition.

The Malagasy will take on Sudan in their final pool fixture on Monday, with the latter having let a lead slip to lose 3-1 to Ghana in their fixt fixture.

It means Madagascar lead the group on head-to-head from Ghana with both sides on three points, while Sudan have yet to break their duck. Ghana have now completed their pool matches.

Victory for Sudan over Madagascar would leave all three sides on three points and it would then come down to goal-difference and goals-scored.

For example, a 1-0 win for Sudan would not be enough to see them advance as they would have a -1 goal-difference, with Madagascar on 0 and Ghana +1. However, a victory by two-goals does see them go through.

The winner of Group C will take on the runner-up from Group A in the knockout stage, which could well be Mozambique. They currently occupy second place ahead of a meeting against Algeria on Saturday.

Angola play their final Group D game on Friday and need a win against Mauritania to make sure of their place in the quarterfinals. Their opening match against Mali ended in a 3-3 draw after they had led by two goals in the game.

“We have been working a lot in training and have corrected these mistakes,” Angola coach Pedro Goncalves said. “We must be more aggressive especially in the final third of the game and to stay focused for the whole game. We have taken all the necessary corrections so that we do not repeat these mistakes.

“We are confident that in the next match, we shall be better. Our next game is very tough because our opponents Mauritania know that if they lose the game, they are out of the tournament. So, we must be careful, and our attitude must be right.

“How can we motivate our players? There is no magic trick. Winning a game is the best motivation that a team can achieve. What we want is talented players who are proud to represent Angola. In this group of players here in Algeria, we have that, and I am proud of my team.”

Goncalves adds the team is making good progress and admits there is pressure from back home to succeed.

“I believe that we are on the right track. The Angolan team has developed and progressed. We are trying to meet the expectations of the fans back home. We shall do our best. There is a difference between what we want to achieve and what is in front of us. We want to achieve some progress. We want to be in every competition and come to tournaments like this regularly. It shows what we can achieve.

“We try to assert our presence on the pitch. One day we shall achieve our goal and for now, we take it one game at a time. Our players support each other. We will try to win. We cannot take the next game lightly.

“We are in a group of three teams so already it is difficult to make it to the next stage if you lose one game. We want to show the level of our championship when we play in a tournament like the CHAN. We have already seen some exciting games here in Algeria and so we must be good ambassadors of Angolan football.”