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Malagasy coach dreams of upsetting Nigeria

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Madagascar’s coach Nicolas Dupuis attends a presser at the Alexandria stadium in Alexandria, northern Egypt, on June 25, 2019, two days ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Madagascar and Burundi. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)


Coach Nicholas Dupuis of Madagascar is confident his team can upset Nigeria today in their last Group B match of the on-going African Cup of Nations. He however acknowledges that they are up against a strong and experienced Nigerian side at the Alexandria Stadium in Egypt.
 
The Barea of Madagascar have been one of the revelations of this tournament after drawing with one of the group B favourites, Guinea and beating fellow debutants, Burundi 1-0 to occupy the second position in the group.

Coach Dupuis, has, however, promised that they would need to defend well to be able to withstand the Eagles.“We are playing in our first tournament and it will be bad if we stop playing the way we have been playing in this tournament so far. We know we are playing a big country like Nigeria, and this is an opportunity to test our strength.
 
“I have confidence in my team and I know they will do what they have been doing to get to the level they are right now. We have our own strategy, and we will do well to have more of the ball,” he said.
 
The French man, who tutored Madagascar to their first AFCON after beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0, said his boys would do their best to be able match the Nigerian players in the encounter.
 
“This is football and I believe anything can happen. I want to wait and see the players in training before deciding the team for the match. And I know it is possible for us to win the match.”

“Already, we have four points and we don’t want to play under any pressure. A second position in the group will even be good for us. We will be more relaxed at least,” he said.
 
Also, speaking on the match, Malagasy midfielder, Ibrahim Amanda said, “This team has been together for two years now and we are proud representing our country. I know Nigeria is a big team, but in football, there can be surprises. I know we will be ready to play our best by being offensive. 
 
“We have the desire and motivation to win this game. Our plan is to get at least secure the second. Four points is good so that we play with less pressure. To be honest, no one ever thought we could qualify for this tournament. We are here now and we also want to win matches,” said the player, who plays for MC Alger of Algeria.


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2019 AFCONNicholas Dupuis
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