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Ghana vs Cape Verde Islands Preview

February 1, 2013 By Angela Asante
Saturday’s 10:00am EST kick-off at the 2013 AFCON is a clash between underdogs Cape Verde and pre-tournament favourites Ghana. Which side will claim semi-final tickets?

AFCON 2013 quarter-finals: Unity will be key in Ghana's match against underdogs Cape Verde.Both sides met in a friendly match played in Portugal last November. Barely three months since then, they are vying in the AFCON 2013 Last 8.

How Ghana qualified from Group B

The Black Stars were the first side to hit the back of the net at this 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Goals from Agyemang Badu and Kwadwo Asamoah seemed to have given a sure victory for Ghana but opponents Congo DR had other ideas. Mputu reduced the deficit before Mbokani cut the Ghanaians’ points through a 68th minute penalty goal. 

 

This rather poor result instantly put coach Kwesi Appiah under pressure. The former Black Stars captain had to find a way to correct his team’s defensive weaknesses. A narrow 1-0 victory over Mali placed Ghana in a good position ahead of their last group match. They only needed a point against Niger to qualify. 

Skipper Asamoah Gyan set the pace with an early goal before fan favourite Christian Atsu doubled the lead midway through the first half at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The contest was truly over when defender John Boye made it 3-0 in the 49th minute. With seven points, Ghana qualified from Group B as leaders. 

AFRICA CUP: GROUP B 2014
1   Ghana 3 2 1 0 6 2 +4 7
2   Mali 3 1 1 1 2 2 +0 4
3   Congo DR 3 0 3 0 3 3 +0 3
4   Niger 3 0 1 2 0 4 -4 1

How Cape Verde qualified from Group A

As total outsiders in this year’s AFCON tournament, Cape Verde played their group games without pressure. Indeed, they had nothing to loose in their opening fixture against host nation South Africa. They relied on their composed defence to shut down the Bafana Bafana and even came close to scoring a number of times.

Snatching a point in their first ever Africa Cup of Nations encounter appeared as a promising start for the Blue Sharks. They nearly clinched victory in their second match against Morocco but a late strike from El-Arabi spoiled the party.

However, the real celebration occurred in the third round of fixtures. In miraculous fashion, the Cape Verdeans claimed a comeback win over group favourites Angola. With five points, they joined South Africa in the quarter-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. 

AFRICA CUP: GROUP A 2014
1   South Africa 3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 5
2   Cape Verde Islands 3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 5
3   Morocco 3 0 3 0 3 3 +0 3
4   Angola 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Ghana’s most recent match stats (3-0 win against Niger)

Ball possession: 45 per cent; Corners: 3; Shots on target: 7; Shots wide: 6; Fouls: 14; Offsides: 1

Cape Verde’s most recent match stats (2-1 win against Angola)

Ball possession: 44 per cent; Corners: 7; Shots on target: 4; Shots wide: 10; Fouls: 19; Offsides: 3

Prediction

The Black Stars and the Blue Sharks are clashing at the right time as both teams showcased their best performance of the tournament in their latest respective fixture. This should be a thrilling game for the public.

It may not produce excellent football in terms of play but the power of mentality and luck could be fully exhibited. There is always something special when pre-tournament favourites lock horns with on-fire underdogs. This will be the case on Saturday afternoon and Ghana may do just enough to edge the tie.

Result: Ghana 2-1 Cape Verde

 
 

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