2019 Afcon qualifiers: Madagascar make Senegal toil for a point as disaster strikes Antananarivo

Comments (0)
Mane Niang Senegal Colombia
Getty Images
Madagascar hold Senegal to a draw, while Mali, Guinea and Tunisia maintained clean records on Sunday

At least one person died and 40 others were reportedly injured at the Stade Municipal de Mahamasina in the Madagascan capital Antananarivo in a stampede on Sunday.

Madagascar atoned for the tragedy that hit their home by holding Senegal to a 2-2 draw in one of the surprise results of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers this weekend.

The attraction of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and other Senegal World Cup stars invited a huge turn out for the match.

There was one death reported and several people said to have been injured, some critically, as scores of fans attempted to gain entry into the stadium using one entrance.

But Madagascar managed to frustrate the Lions of Teranga who were the first on the scoresheet through Moussa Konate before Paulin Voavy hit back for the hosts just before half-time.

But Inter Milan forward Keita Balde restored Senegal’s lead after the break to trigger some relentless attacking from Madagascar that led to an own goal by Napoli utility man Kalidou Koulibaly.

With Madagascar having beaten Sudan 3-1 away in their Group A opening match, snatching a point from much-fancied opponents Senegal clearly spelt out the Indian Ocean islanders' Afcon qualification intentions.

Senegal however remain as group leaders above Madagascar on goal difference.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe blew up a golden opportunity to secure maximum points and open a two-point gap on top of Group G when they allowed hosts Congo Brazzaville to come back and snatch a 1-1 draw.

In a dominant first half display, Khama Billiat thrust  Zimbabwe ahead but Congo hit back through Thievy Bifouma soon after the restart as the hosts seized control of play but could not find the winner.

The complacency which the Zimbabweans seemed to have been playing with after Billiat’s goal saw captain Knowledge Musona miss a glorious chance which could have been a security goal to unsettle the hosts.

The Warriors though, will have to thank Liberia for holding DRC Congo 1-1 in another Group G encounter in Monrovia as that result secured their Group G lead.

Liberia almost stole maximum points when captain William Jebor scored on 62 minutes, but Elia Meschack's goal salvaged a point for DRC Congo with eight minutes before time.

Zimbabwe remain at the summit thanks to a superior goal-difference ahead of back-to-back clashes against DRC Congo next month.

Meanwhile, at the Mavuso Sports Center, Tunisia were too strong for Swaziland courtesy of a 2-0 win.  Yassine Khenissi and Naim Sliti found the target in the second half to seal the game for the North African visitors.

Tunisia top Group J and enjoy a 100 percent record, having beaten Egypt 1-0 at home in their opening match.

Elsewhere, in Kigali, Ivory Coast prevailed 2-1 winners away from home with Jonathan Kodjia and Max Gradel grabbing the crucial goals for the 2015 African champions.

Meddie Kagere scored as Group H basement side Rwanda tried to claw their way back into the game but Amavubi went on to lose their second straight match.

Guinea maintained their Group H lead with a maximum record by edging Central African Republic 1-0 at home.

Seydouba Soumah grabbed the all-important goal that saw Guinea follow-up on their 3-2 victory over Ivory Coast in their opening match away.

The biggest victory of the day came from Mali who overpowered South Sudan 3-0 away.

FC Porto striker Moussa Marega, Salif Coulibaly and Adama Traore were all on target to fire Mali to a second successive victory in this campaign, having beaten Gabon 2-1 in their first game.

Burundi who drew 1-1 with Gabon on Saturday are in second position after spending the night at the top, while South Sudan have zero points.

Furthermore, Ethiopia only needed Getaneh Kedede to fire home from the penalty spot for them to edge Sierra Leone in Addis Ababa and recover from a false start in this campaign.

After starting the qualifiers with a 5-0 thumping to Ghana, Ethiopia managed to pick up their first set of points in Group F where all teams have three points.

In Group I, Angola beat Botswana 1-0 at home to rise from the bottom of the group standings to third position thanks to Gelson netting the only goal of the afternoon, while Botswana are at the foot of the table with no points.

Moreover, Togo were held 0-0 by Benin in a Group D affair to remain at the bottom of this pool led by Algeria.