AFCON 2023: Cape Verde and Mauritania eye quarterfinal


In a clash that promises to script history, Cape Verde and Mauritania will face off in the Round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), with both teams vying to break their duck of never having won a knockout tie in the tournament.

Cape Verde, emerging as Group B winners, enters the match as favorites after an impressive campaign that saw them defeat Ghana, Mozambique, and secure a notable draw against Egypt.

Manager Bubista’s squad, which includes the dynamic Bebe, known for his memorable long-distance strike against Mozambique, is expected to return to full strength for this crucial encounter.

Cape Verde boasts an impressive recent run with just one defeat in their last six matches, showcasing their determination and form.

On the other side, Mauritania’s journey to the knockout stage was dramatic, marked by a remarkable 1-0 win against Algeria, a team ranked 75 places higher by FIFA.

Despite their less convincing qualification, reaching this stage in their debut AFCON tournament is considered a success for Mauritania.

The freedom that comes with their unexpected progress makes Mauritania a potential threat, especially considering their undefeated record in the last two head-to-head meetings with Cape Verde, including a 2-1 victory in 2019.

The key battle to watch will be between Cape Verde’s Kevin Lenini, a dynamic force in attack, and Mauritania’s goalkeeper Babacar Niasse, who leads the competition in saves at the end of the group stage with 12 stops.

As these two teams clash, history awaits one of them, ready to break the shackles and advance in the AFCON journey.

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