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Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 31, 2018 19:01

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By Satish Sekar in Polokwane © Satish Sekar (May 29th)

Having done the hard work of beating Mozambique in their first match Madagascar spurned the opportunity to heap pressure on Abel Xavier’s team by drawing 1-1 against the Seychelles in their second match of the COSAFA Cup. They also suffered the first red card of the tournament.

Before the tournament started, Madagasy coach, Franklin Andriamanarivo, set his charges the tough task of reaching the semi-final. After dispatching Mozambique, Andriamanarivo must have expected to seize all three points against ‘weaker’ opposition. It took 24 minutes for Madagascar to break the deadlock, through midfielder Bourahim Jaitondo.

However, if Andriamanarivo thought that his team would progress from there the Seychelles had other ideas. They found an unexpected hero in defender Warren Mellie. Ten minutes before the break he equalised. It got worse in the second half for Madagascar
With a quarter of an hour of normal time remaining, the Seychelles’ midfielder Kieren Sinon picked up a yellow card and in quick succession Lalaina Manampisoa saw red. A man light Andriamanarivo had to reassess his aims – a point didn’t look so bad now.

Madagascar clung on leaving Group A headed by Madagascar on 4 points, Mozambique on 3, Seychelles on 2 and Comoros on 1 with all to play for in the final group phase matches on May 31st.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar October 31, 2018 19:01