Debutants Madagascar cruised to the semi-finals of the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2022 in Algeria after defeating Mozambique 3-1 in a thrilling game on Saturday.
The Barea were in fine form at the Chahid Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine on Saturday showing that their progress in the tournament has not been by luck.
Solomampionona Koloina Razafindranaivo opened the scoring in the 18th minute after cutting into the box on the right to swing a left-footed effort into the back of the net. Mozambican goalkeeper Victor was flat-footed and could not do anything
Madagascar controlled the momentum of the game and asked the Mambas countless questions in front of the goal and in the 42nd minute, this almost paid off when Tokinantenaina Olivier Randriatsiferana commonly known as Tsiry made an attacking run into the box and laid the ball for Jean Yvon Razafindrakoto who in a one-on-one with Victor failed to convert.
Mozambique tried to regain their stability but went into the halftime break with a 1-0 deficit. Madagascar started the second half from where they left off in the first with numerous runs at goal and were rewarded in the 67th minute when Jean Razafindrakoto doubled the lead to give the Barea a comfortable cushion.
Razafindrakoto made a fine run from the left wing connecting to a Dax pass to send a powerful shot past Victor tried to deny him but the effort was too good.
Mozambique did not give up. Ten minutes later, they could have scored from a set-piece when an Isac Decarvalho header was blocked by Madagascar goalkeeper Razakanirina Rakotohasimbola commonly known as Nina and the rebound that landed on Chico’s head was pushed away by the alert Nina.
Marcio Ravelomanantsoa put the icing on the cake in the 87th minute off a good counterattack on the left thanks to a good ball from Martin Rakotorina in the midfield to give Madagascar a deserved 3-0 lead.
The Barea were on course to keep a second consecutive clean sheet but a Domingos Joao Macandza throw-in into the box altered this feat.
Melque Melito Alexandre slid to connect to the ball and Decarvalho was in the right place at the right time and managed to find the back of the net to save Mozambique the blushes on the night.
Madagascar is now in the semi-finals of the CHAN for the first time of asking. They will face Senegal who defeated Mauritania 1-0 on Friday in Annaba.