HomeFootball NewsAFCON: Cape Verde vs South Africa: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch...

AFCON: Cape Verde vs South Africa: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

Cape Verde only qualified for their first ever Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 and in their three previous tournaments, they had won just two out of 11 games. However, they have now won three in four of this campaign and head into the quarter-finals as one of the stronger sides. They defeated Ghana, hammered Mozambique and then shared a draw with Egypt in the group stages before then edging past Mauritania by a goal to nil in the Round of 16, the other day.

South Africa pulled off arguably the biggest shock in what has been a tournament of major shocks in their Round of 16 tie as they defeated Morocco by two goals to nil. Bafana Bafana started the competition with a 2-0 defeat to Mali before thrashing Namibia and then holding Tunisia to a goalless draw in their final group stage match to progress through as Group E’s runners up.

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Team News

Cape Verde have had a fully fit and available squad throughout the tournament so far as they attempt to play a fluid and entertaining 4-3-3 system. There will be slight concerns over the fitness of Steven Moreira with Willy Semedo potentially coming in to start this one.

Belgian coach Hugo Broos made the fairly big decision mid-way through their group stage campaign to drop defenders Nyiko Mobbie and Siyanda Xulu. They have no reported injury or availability concerns so should name unchanged for this one.

Expected Line-ups

Cape Verde: Vozinha; Semedo, Costa, Pico, Paulo; Monteiro, Pina, Duarte; Mendes, Bebe, Cabral

South Africa: Williams; Mudau, Kekana, Mvala, Modiba; Mokoena, Sithole; Morena, Zwane, Tau; Makgopa

What they Said

In the aftermath of Cape Verde’s defeat of Mauritania the other day, manager Bubista discussed the potential fairytale that is unfolding. “We are carving out path; we know there are many bigger teams than us, but we are trying to focus on our game to have the opportunity to face these African powerhouses.”

Prior to their victory over the Moroccans, Hugo Broos said that South Africa would be capable of reaching the final if they did beat the Atlas Lions so they will be heading into this one in the frame of mind that they have put themselves among the red-hot favourites.

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at the Charles Konan Barry Stadium on Saturday February 3rd at 20:00. It will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and can also be streamed via the Sky Go app.

Prediction

Cape Verde have been a team that have majorly improved over the last decade or so without really making a dent in this tournament. Now, though, with the draw opening up for them and some impressive performances being put in with an exciting front three of Bebe, Jovane Cabral and Ryan Mendes; they will believe they have a real chance of making history. South Africa will also believe more than anyone that it is their time after they managed to beat 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalists Morocco the other day. Cape Verde should have the edge in a game that is likely to be a nervy, tense and low-scoring affair.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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