Madagascar has emerged the first nation to qualify for Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year, and the 40th country overall to reach the continental soccer showpiece in the competition’s history.
According to Footballlive.ng, the Red Island made history after their 26-year-old Thailand-based midfielder, Njiva Rakotoharimalala scored the only goal three minutes before half-time against visiting Equatorial Guinea.
The result puts the former Malagasy Island on ten points in Group A to guarantee them a place at Cameroon 2019 with two games left.
The match was played in Vontovorona after Madagascar were banned from using Mahamasina Stadium in Antananarivo for three matches.
The ban was imposed by the Confederation of Africa Football following a stampede at the national stadium in September when one person was killed and nearly 40 others were injured.
Cameroon top the group with eight points, but they have qualified automatically as the Nations Cup hosts leaving just one more place up for grabs from the group.
Morocco lead the way in the race to the finals on seven points, Malawi move to four points and Comoros are on two – with all the teams having played four games.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 years ago