Madagascar v Tunisia: Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final – live!

by Theguardian

Football
Africa Cup of Nations updates from the 8pm BST kick-offJonathan Wilson: Afcon has had more drama than qualityAnd you can email Paul here or tweet him here

6.54pm BST

Before we tuck into the main feast (see below), let’s enjoy the conclusion to the first quarter-final, which is turning out to be a corker. Algeria led through a first-half goal by Sofinae Feghouli and had a chance to increase that lead, only for Baghdad Bounedjah to smash a penalty against the crossbar. Then Jonathan Kodjia equalised for Ivory Coast and since then it’s been a thrilling, helter-skelter affair, with highlights including Riyad Mahrez having a shot cleared off the line brilliantly by Mamadou Bagayoko, and Wilfried Zaha shaking a golden chance high and wide for the Elephants. A highly entertaining game is about to reach its climax, as extra-time begins momentarily...

1.30pm BST

Hello. We are gathered here today to see whether Madagascar can spring yet another wonderful surprise. The team who began this tournament ranked 108th in the world have lit up the show with a marvellous spirit, canny defending and vibrant attacking. They’ve been beautiful! Today, Tunisia stand in their way.

“It doesn’t matter who we’re up against, we’re not worried about that!” blared Malgasy midfielder Lalaina “Bolida” Nomejanahary by way of preview for this match. “We approach every game with a winning mentality.” That’s the spirit! Still, let’s remind ourselves of what Tunisia (world ranking: 25) will be bringing to this party. Far more experience than Madagascar, for a start, but also some nimble tricksters and a more open disposition than is suggested by a record of four draws from four matches so far. Youssef Msakni, Wahbi Khazri and Naim Sliti have not been at their best so far in this tournament (and Khazri and Sliti did not start the last game) but if they get it together, they could lead Madagascar on a merry dance. Both these teams are technically slick and fond of open and enterprising games so this could be a belter. Senegal will be paying close attention because they will meet the winner in the semi-final. You, too, should tune in. It’s on! At 8pm BST.

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