Africa Cup of Nations newcomers Madagascar pulled off a stunning upset of Nigeria on Sunday with a 2-0 win over the three-time former champions to clinch a place in the last 16.
“What happened was Madagascar were the better team today,” said Nigeria boss Gernot Rohr.
“We started with a gift. We didn’t want to make a gift but this first goal was a wonderful gift for Madagascar and then we couldn’t find solutions.
“It’s not a shame to lose a match against such a team.”
Having already qualified after back-to-back 1-0 victories, Rohr made five changes to the side that overcame Guinea in their second game.
The defeat for Nigeria likely sets up an eye-catching clash with either holders Cameroon or four-time winners Ghana in the next round, while Madagascar will take on a team that finishes third from either Group A, C or D.