Tunisia tame Madagascar 3-0 to reach AFCON semis

Tunisia trounced debutants Madagascar 3-0 here on Thursday night to reach the semifinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Midfielder Ferjani Sassi opened the scoring for Tunisia a few minutes after the break with a shot outside the box deflected by the backside of a Malagasy defender to deceive the unfortunate goalkeeper.

Tunisian forward Youssef Msakni scored the second in the 60th minute through a follow-up strike after forward Wahbi Khazri’s shot inside the box was blocked by Madagascar’s goalkeeper.

The third was scored from a shot inside the box by midfielder Naim Sliti from an assist by Khazri in injury time.

The 2004 AFCON champions Tunisia will face Sadio Mane’s Senegal, who wish for their first AFCON title, in the first semifinal match on July 14.

Earlier on Thursday, Algeria, who won the AFCON title once in 1990, defeated two-time champions Cote d’Ivoire on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 120 minutes.

Algeria will challenge Nigeria on July 14 in the second semifinal confrontation.

Tunisia were second of Group E with three ties and reached the quarterfinals by edging four-time AFCON champions Ghana on penalties.

Madagascar made a remarkable AFCON run for newcomers as they shocked fans with a 2-0 group stage victory over three-time champions Nigeria and managed to advance to the quarterfinals at the expense of the 1972 AFCON title holders DR Congo on penalties.

The 32nd AFCON, Africa’s largest and most prestigious soccer tournament, kicked off in Egypt on June 21 and will conclude on July 19.