2026 FIFA WC QUALIFIERS: “We struggled to stop him” – Romuald Rakotondrabe on Ashimeru.

Madagascar couldn’t hold the Black Stars of Ghana till the end after a last-minute header from Inaki Williams ensured Ghana bagged all three points on the opening day of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

Despite the loss, the Barea of Madagascar displayed some delightful football and were dominating in some part of the first half.

In an interview with the media after the game, Head Coach Romuald Rakotondrabe said failure to take their chances and hard luck caused them the defeat in Kumasi. He also admitted that the inclusion of RSC Anderlecht midfielder Majeed Ashimeru changed everything for them because it was difficult for them to stop him.

In addition, he said is just the start and they will work extra hard against Chad on Monday, November 20, 2023.

“This is just the beginning of the tournament. We have lost 1-0 but is too early to decide who qualifies. We are behind, but I believe we will catch up against Chad on Monday” Romuald said.

“In the first 45 minutes, we were able to challenge Ghana. In the second half, he brought Majeed Ashimeru and that changed everything. I told my boys to stop him because he brought energy. We tried and tried but it did not work” he added.

Next for Madagascar is Antananarivo where they host Chad for the second round of matches while Ghana travels to Comoros to seek revenge.

They are paired alongside Mali, Central African Republic and Chad in group I of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifers.



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