Tunisia progressed to their first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final in 15 years after beating debutants and tournament surprise package Madagascar 3-0 in the quarter finals at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Thursday night.
Second half goals from Ferjani Sassi, skipper Youssef Msakni and substitute Naim Slitti saw the Carthage Eagles effectively end the Indian Ocean island country’s fairytale run at the Total AFCON Egypt 2019 and qualify for the last four for the first time since 2004 when they won the title.
For the first time in this tournament, Madagascar looked really uncomfortable and were forced to passing mistakes by the high pressing Tunisians who seemed to have done their homework on the debutants.
Whenever Madagascar had the ball, Tunisia pressed high, shutting spaces between them and making it difficult for them to play their usual passing game.
Ferjani Sassi (Total Man of the match)
We are thrilled to win today. I dedicate this victory and this award to all the Tunisian people.
Alain Giresse (Coach, Tunisia)
We’re satisfied with our performance. We are in the semifinal and it’s what the Tunisians were looking for, yet this is not our ambition. We want to do more. I didn’t look to criticism and I just focus on my job as a coach.
Nicolas Dupuis (Coach, Madagascar)
I’m very proud of this team. We had a great tournament since the first day. I’m now enjoying my time with these players and don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I say to Malagasy people we still have a lot to do in the future.