Prior to their semi-final matchup against Senegal on Tuesday at the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2022 in Algeria, Madagascar coach Romuald Rakotondrabe has ruled out any rationalizations.
The Barea arrived in Algiers from Constantine, where they remained until after the quarterfinals.
According to Rakotondrabe, despite having one fewer recovery day than their opponents, the Barea is prepared for the task at hand.
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“This is tournament life. We are not going to find excuses.
“I say it, we are ready to face the Senegalese here in Algiers,” Rakotondrabe said confidently.
He revealed that: “We discussed it with the boys.
“We resorted to meditation sessions. With all the excitement, they are like children.
“We had to find more peace which is essential to our concentration for the next stage.
“Senegal is a strong and aggressive team. We do not have the same attributes.
“As a football fan, it is a treat for me to watch them play.
“We have observed and analysed them for a long time.
“Even though they are favourites for the semi-finals, we will put in place a strategy to thwart their plans.”
Rakotondrabe acknowledged that the Barea will rely on top player Tokinantenaina Randriatsiferana, better known by her stage name Tsiry, who has excelled in this competition.
Tantely Randrianiaaina, another member of his squad, contributed to the appreciation by stating,
“I have known Tsiry since he was very small. Is it unexpected to see him perform so well in this CHAN?
“For me, no! I can even say that he hasn’t even fully displayed all of his talents. Additionally, his teammates look up to him as a role model for us.
“He is the first to come to training and the last to leave.
“He has the work discipline and ethic worthy of the greatest.
” It is not uncommon to see him after the sessions, take a ball and sharpen his shots.
” I am very happy to be his teammate and above all proud that he is Malagasy.”
The Barea has scored eight goals in total over three games, leading the competition, while Senegal has five goals in four games.
“We respect the Senegal team a lot. Senegalese teams are the pride of our beautiful continent internationally.
“Now against them, we’ll go all out. It is true, I have to tell you, I didn’t think we would go this far but my boys have proven their worth on the pitch.
“Today, everyone is talking about us. It can be tricky. It is up to us to stay focused,” Randrianiaaina emphasized.
These Big Island players know that making it to the final would mean so much to them and that they could add the most beautiful chapter to their nation’s history.
“We have come a long way. Thanks to social networks, we receive messages from our families, friends and even people we did not know before this tournament. It goes straight to our hearts.
” We have no right to flinch. Our story is really beautiful. We must not disappoint,” concluded Tantely Randrianiaaina.
On Tuesday, Madagascar will decide their fate in the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Baraki, an Algiers suburb.
As the two teams compete for a spot in the championship, the matchup with the Lions of Teranga is one that cannot be missed. At 1900 GMT, the game will begin.