Cape Verde's history men face South Africa for place in semis at Cup of Nations

History beckons for Cape Verde on Saturday night in Yamoussoukro when a team from the archipelago of islands in the Atlantic Ocean attempts to reach the semi-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.

Success would eclipse the pioneers who advanced to the last eight during an inaugural appearance at the tournament in 2013.

Back then they were undone 2-0 by a more savvy Ghana side. Two years later they went out at the group stages after drawing all three of their games.

Absent from the 2017 and 2019 competitions, they returned in 2021 in Cameroon where they fell to eventual champions Senegal in the last-16.

Eleven years on from that initial Cup of Nations adventure, they snatched a late win over an imploding Ghana side, pummelled Mozambique 3-0 and maintained their unbeaten streak with a late strike to draw 2-2 with Egypt.

They rode their luck in the last-16 against an energetic Mauritania side but prevailed 1-0. Ryan Mendes - who featured during the run to the last eight in 2013 - converted a penalty to send them through.

"I think from what we've done people like the football that we are playing," said Cape Verde boss Bubista.

"And they also like the team spirit that we are showing as we've tried to give game time to everyone."


A win against Cape Verde will take South Africa into the semis for the first time since 2000.

"I'm very happy to be here," said Teboho Mokoena who scored a sumptuous free-kick to seal the victory over Morocco at the Stade Laurent Pokou.

Read more on RFI English

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