Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeAfrica Cup Of NationsCape Verde’s AFCON Fairy-tale Continues

Cape Verde’s AFCON Fairy-tale Continues

Cape Verde’s Africa Cup of Nations fairy-tale run continues in the Ivory Coast after they saw off Mauritania 1-0 in the Last 16 round at stade Felix Houphouet- Boigny on Monday evening.

It took a late penalty by Ryan Mendes to secure progression. This is the second time the Blue Sharks have reached the quarter-finals after achieving the feat in 2013. They finished in the second round in the previous edition.

Mendes could have opened the scoring as early as in the second minute but it was deflected and went wide. He had his second attempt in the ninth minute, which the Mauritanian goalkeeper dealt with.  

But before that Hemeya Tanji couldn’t time his run properly and wasted a scoring chance for Mauritania.

The Blue Sharks continued pressing with Bebe being the menace again and three minutes later he crossed into the box but found no teammate to finish.

Mauritania also had chances to get in the opposition’s box Sidi Buana had a tame shot go wide four minutes to the break. At the stroke of halftime the Cape Verde captain found himself in the box, receiving a long shot but scrambled to bury it and was eventually denied by Babacar Niasse leaving the match goalless at the break.

Two minutes into the second half it was Cabral with a shot to break the deadlock from a tight angle and forced Niasse to come out and punch and his side could not capitalise on the second ball.

Mauritania had a golden opportunity to get ahead just before the hour mark which Anne Souleymane could not put away as he shot wide.

Cape Verde won a corner with 15 minutes left on the clock, Jamiro Monteiro curled it into the box but Joao Moreira’s header wasn’t strong enough to finish.

There was another shot by Cabral soon after and it was again a near miss. Mendes was also denied in the 80th minute in what most believe was a good shift by Naisse.

The keeper fouled Gilson Tavarez in the box and conceded a late penalt,y which Mendes slotted home to secure a victory and progress into the last eight round.

Cape Verde will play the winner of the match between Morocco and Bafana Bafana who play in the later kick off on Tuesday.

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.