Madagascar players the pride of a nation, says coach Dupuis
- Madagascar's players came in for special praise as they reached the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages on Sunday.
Madagascar coach Nicolas Dupuis lauded his team after they produced a stunning Africa Cup of Nations upset against Nigeria on Sunday.
Nigeria, the three-time AFCON champions, were beaten 2-0 as goals from Lalaina Nomenjanahary and Carolus Andriamahitsinoro caused a stir in Alexandria.
Ranked108th in the world and playing at the tournament for the first time, Madagascar topped Group B as a result of their latest win against a Nigeria side who had already qualified.
"I have to thank the players who made me proud and the people of Madagascar proud," said Dupuis. "It's a real achievement for us.
"When I saw the group we were given, we all put Nigeria as favourites. Nigeria are still a strong favourite for the tournament.
"I really wanted to make the Madagascar people dream and we did but it came at a bit of a cost with all the effort we put in."
Dupuis revealed will have to shake things up for Madagascar's next match against one of four best third-place finishers.
"I find that the players are more and more concentrated [as the tournament goes on]," he added.
"But I have always played the same players and that's going to be a major problem now.
"We're going to have 10 of them resting at training.
"The main problem is that Marco [Ilaimaharitra] received a second yellow card and won't be able to play in the next match."