Isaac Ngoma and Louis Mafouta were the scorers this Thursday afternoon as the Central Africa Republic (CAR) have picked up their first win of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier away to Madagascar in Antananarivo.
First-half goals from Ngoma and a brace Mafouta silenced the home crowd at the Stade Berea Kianja Mahamasina for the match day three fixture.
Frenchman Raoul Savoy had arguably his best squad in his time in the ‘Les Fauves’ dugout, with the return of Atletico Madrid star midfielder Geoffrey Kodogbia and made it count.
Kodogbia made his first start of the campaign, just like Isaac Ngoma of Congolese origin while Cameroon descent duo Yacob Youmbi and Samuel Nlend all got involved from kick-off.
The hosts endured a difficult start to proceedings as the visitors dominated possession and forced them to stay deep in their half.
Madagascar was constraint to sucking pressure and trying to break from the counter in the opening half hour.
The visitors earned the reward for their efforts in the 36th minute when Ngoma found the back of Razakanirina Rakotohasimbola’s net from a close range effort.
CAR chasing a first-ever AFCON participation doubled their advantage on the struck of half-time when Mafouta scored his first in the game.
The Central Africans didn’t take their feet off the pedal upon resumption, they dominated and took the game to their hosts though poor finishing led them down.
Madagascar’s skipper Ibrahim Amada and mates looked second best in their fief, giving very little work to Dominique Youfeigane who was in goal for the visitors ahead of Alladoum Kolimba.
Kenji Van Boto, Loic Lapoussin and former Olympique Lyonnaise midfielder Jeremy Morel couldn’t provide their usual spark for Madagascar as Savoy’s men denied them space and the ball in dangerous portions of the pitch.
Mafouta who had squandered some big chances finally completed his brace 11 minutes from time, benefiting from an inch-perfect ball to make it 3-0.
Rwandan Referee Samuel Uwikunda accorded six minutes of additional time after the rest of the day 11 minutes from the time third goal went in, but Madagascar couldn’t trouble CAR even in borrowed time.
The game finished 3-0. CAR recorded their first win of the qualifier campaign to equal Ghana and Angola on four points hours before their own meeting in Kumasi.
Central Africa who held Ghana to a 1-1 draw earlier in the qualifiers count four points, ahead of their match day four fixture against Madagascar at their adopted home; the Reunification Stadium in Douala next Monday, March 27.
Mafouta’s latest performance takes his tally for his country to eight goals in 20 appearances.
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