Bafana to take on Madagascar in the quartefinals

Bafana to take on Madagascar in the quartefinals

A scrappy goal at the end of the first half gave Madagascar a 1-0 Cosafa Cup Group A win over Comoros Thursday and secured a quarter-final against host nation South Africa.

Jaotombo Bourah poked the ball over the line after a frenetic goalmouth scramble following a free-kick at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in northern city Polokwane.

Winning lifted the Malagasy to seven points from three matches, one more than Mozambique, who defeated Seychelles 2-1 in a match played simultaneously.

Seychelles came third with two points and Comoros, competing in the annual southern Africa tournament for the first time since 2009, propped up the standings with a single point.

Madagascar finishing first was a surprise with Mozambique, coached by former Liverpool and Everton defender Abel Xavier, eight places higher on the world rankings.

The Malagasys edged the Mozambicans 2-1 in the first series of matches, then drew with Seychelles before overcoming a lively but creatively limited Comoran side.

In the other match, played at Seshego Stadium near regional capital Polokwane, Luis Miquissone scored his fourth goal of the tournament to give Mozambique a 1-0 half-time lead.

Elijah Tamboo levelled soon after the break for the Seychellois, who are ranked 51 of 54 African football nations.

But Seychelles’ hopes of a third consecutive draw in the group were dashed 17 minutes from time when Mozambique captain Joao Jeitoso scored the winning goal.

Group B concludes Friday with leaders Botswana playing Mauritius and Angola facing Malawi, the only country among the four who cannot finish first.

The country topping the final standings will book a quarter-finals date with defending champions Zimbabwe, whose triumph last year was a record fifth.

South Africa and Zambia have won the competition four times each, Angola on three occasions and Namibia once.

Credit: AFP, THE SOUTH AFRICAN

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