Brighton’s Leon Balogun caught out as Madagascar stun Nigeria at Africa Cup of Nations

Leon Balogun - Getty
Leon Balogun - Getty

A defensive error from Brighton’s Leon Balogun helped Madagascar to an unlikely 2-0 victory against Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The win for Madagascar, who are 108th in the Fifa rankings, confirmed their place in the last-16 by surprisingly topping Group B.

Nigeria, who had already guaranteed their spot in the knockout phase prior to the game at the Alexandria Stadium, will need to improve significantly if they are to progress.

The Super Eagles fell behind in the 13th-minute, as Lalaina Nomenjanahary took advantage of a woeful defending from Balogun to slot home after rounding goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

Despite dominating in terms of possession, Nigeria failed to record a shot on target in the first half and almost conceded a second just before the break, only for Madagascar captain Faneva Andriatsima to fire wide when through on goal.

Eight minutes into the second half Madagascar sealed the win when Carolus Andriamahitsinoro’s free-kick, following a foul on the edge of the area from Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, took a deflection and looped into the net.

Balogun’s Albion teammate Gaetan Bong also advanced to the knockout stage with Cameroon and Brighton’s third participant at the Africa Cup of Nations, Percy Tau, will go through as well, if South Africa avoid defeat against Morocco.