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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Madagascar looking to surprise DR Congo – Dupuis

2:14 PM EDT 7/5/19
Nicolas Dupuis
The French manager wants his men to continue defying the odds in debut Afcon campaign, following their group stage heroics

Madagascar head coach, Nicolas Dupuis, has charged his troops to spring up another surprise ahead of their first ever Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) knockout round match against DR Congo on Sunday.

The Indian Ocean nation shocked three-time Afcon champions Nigeria in a 2-0 win to finish top of Group B.

The Barea garnered seven points in the group stage, recording wins against Nigeria and fellow tournament first-timers Burundi. They held Guinea to a 2-2 draw in the opener.

Following their group stage heroics, Madagascar became the first debutant team at Afcon to qualify for the knockout phase since Cape Verde in 2013.

“We are happy to be here, to have this strong game against a very good opponent [DR Congo],” Dupuis said in his pre-match presser.

“It’s important to know your opponent well without turning that into pressure against yourself.

“We’ve already sprung up a surprise and we’ll try to do the same thing again [against DR Congo].

“I trust my team will put in a great performance.”

A win for Madagascar at the Alexandria Stadium on Sunday will see them become the first debuting team to remain unbeaten in their first four games at the Africa Cup of Nations since Libya in 1982.