Madagascar have sealed a first ever place at the finals of the African Nations Cup after a 1-0 success over Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday ensured they would finish in the top two in their qualification pool.
Njiva Rakotoharimalala scored the only goal of the game in first half stoppage time as the islanders sealed their historic victory to earn their place at the continental finals in Cameroon next June-July.
Madagascar have 10 points from their four pool matches to date after back-to-back victories over Equatorial Guinea in the last few days, and now can only be caught by Senegal at the top of the pool.
But as the top two teams in each group advance to the finals, their place in Cameroon is secured after 46 years after trying to qualify.
Madagascar were excellent in the 2018 COSAFA Cup, knocking hosts South Africa out of the quarterfinals and eventually finishing fourth.
That competition would have given them excellent warm-up activity ahead of the resumption of the Nations Cup qualifiers, which also saw them hold powerhouse Senegal to a 2-2 draw.