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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Madagascar were different against Nigeria - Yobo

9:48 AM GMT 01/07/2019
Madagascar
The former Super Eagle lavished praise on Nicolas Dupuis' for the courage shown to defeat the the three-time African champions on Sunday

Joseph Yobo applauded Afcon debutants Madagascar for playing Nigeria without fear after their 2-0 win at the Alexandria Stadium.

The Indian Ocean islanders outclassed Gernot Rohr's team in the final Group B fixture with efforts from Lalaina Nomenjanahary and Carolus Andriamatsinoro in each half of the game.

The defeat ended the Super Eagles' unbeaten run of nine games in the continental showpiece since 2010.

Yobo who captained Nigeria to a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph in South Africa reflected on how the 13th-minute opener changed the game in favour of Madagascar.

"The first goal? That what was the defining moment of the game when you come into a game of this magnitude, you don't want to concede too early and when the Malagasy team got the first goal, they took over," Yobo told Super Sport.

"They were resolute and they had a good management play, they controlled the game. What was fascinating and interesting for me is their possession-type of game.

"They came into the game without fear and if you look on paper, you could have said Nigeria would win but on the field, they were totally different.

"They dominated the game from start to finish. It is a remarkable achievement for them, unprecedented - no one saw it coming. Everything they did, they deserve it and they should enjoy the moment.

Nigeria were given a tough challenge by Nicolas Dupuis' charges and found it very hard to trouble goalkeeper Melvin Adrien with just a shot on target.

The only attempt came in the second half from Wilfred Ndidi, a poor stat that sums up their outing in Alexandria.

"We might sometimes lose some games but at least, we must make the goalkeeper work and make the defence work. We didn't see much of that," he continued.

"In the middle of the park, they [Madagascar] dominated a very good Nigerian team and the game was won in that midfield.

"Nigeria having one shot on target says it all but take nothing away from the Malagasy team, they went through this from the preliminary rounds that's 2017 till now so they pushed their way, they look like underdogs but with their performance, they've showed us that they are a team to look out."