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Dark horses Cape Verde out to claim Bafana scalp

2023 Africa Cup of Nations ‘Dark Horses’ Cape Verde will be out to claim the scalp of South Africa when the teams meet in a…

2023 Africa Cup of Nations ‘Dark Horses’ Cape Verde will be out to claim the scalp of South Africa when the teams meet in a Quarterfinal clash at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro this evening.

Cape Verde have equalled their best-ever AFCON performance by reaching the final eight (they first did so on tournament debut in 2013), having defeated Mauritania 1-0 in a Round of 16 clash earlier this week thanks to a late penalty from Ryan Mendes. Prior to that, the Blue Sharks had topped Group B ahead of Egypt, Ghana and Mozambique.

South Africa pulled off the shock result of the Round of 16, defeating World Cup semifinalists Morocco 2-0 thanks to goals from Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena. Prior to that, Bafana Bafana came home second in Group E behind Mali, but ahead of Namibia and Tunisia.

Neither side has any suspensions nor reported injury worries. Cape Verde may opt to give striker Gilson Benchimol a starting berth given his influential showing to win a penalty in the Round of 16, with Bebe possibly dropping to the bench after an underwhelming showing against Mauritania. South Africa, meanwhile, are likely to stick to the same starting XI that defeated Morocco.

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“It’s fantastic, we’ve taken another step forward but we haven’t shown everything yet,” said Cape Verde midfielder Jamiro Monteiro. “We can still do a lot, but the most important thing is to qualify for the Quarterfinals.”

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