Madagascar star suspended for Cup of Nations last-16 match

CAIRO (AFP) – Marco Ilaimaharitra of fairytale Africa Cup of Nations last-16 qualifiers Madagascar will miss the match against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Egypt tomorrow because of a suspension.

The midfielder, who played the full 90 minutes in wins over Burundi and Nigeria and a draw with Guinea, was yellow-carded in two of those matches, resulting in a one-game ban.

Ilaimaharitra, of Belgian club Racing Club Charleroi, scored the only goal of the match against Burundi direct from a free-kick and then helped stun three-time former champions Nigeria.

Should Madagascar eliminate the Congolese in Alexandria, he will be eligible for a quarter-final against Ghana or Tunisia.

South Africa midfielder Themba Zwane and Benin forward Steve Mounie have also been ruled out of last-16 matches due to one-match bans after being yellow-carded in two games.

Zwane will have to watch his country play hosts Egypt in Cairo from the stands today and Mounie has been sidelined when Benin face Morocco in the Egyptian capital 24 hours earlier.