Cape Verde - Angola Preview: Both sides will target three points in PE with a draw not enough for either to qualify

With all four Group A teams still in with a chance to qualify for the Afcon quarter finals, Angola and Cape Verde will both target a win in what should be an entertaining affair

Varela, Nando, Gege, Nivaldo
Babanco Platini, Varela, Soares
Mendes, Tavares
Amaro, Massunguna, Zuela, Miguel
Djelma, Kivuvu, Dede, Gilberto
Mateus, Manucho

Cape Verde have come close to beating South Africa and Morocco during their opening two games of the tournament and will be considered favourites against a stuttering Angolan side on Sunday. However, the Islanders will have to keep a close eye on proceedings in Durban where South Africa only needs a draw or a win. Morocco needs to conquer the Afcon hosts in order to qualify for the quarter-finals.

The Islanders were able to dominate Morocco in the first half of their previous game but faltered under the pressure in the second, allowing the Atlas Lions a chance to secure a vital draw.

Lucio Antune’s men will believe that they can fight for a victory against Angola, which should give them a chance to progress into the next round, but only if South Africa defeats Morocco or the hosts lose in Durban.  

He has stated that he feels his players have the ability to beat any side in the world, a claim which should inspire the team to topple Angola on Sunday evening.

Neither side has voiced any injury concerns on the eve of the match, with Angola’s midfield maestro Djalma Campos rearing to start in the crunch tie. The impressive form of Cape Verde’s Ryan Mendes will be counted on by the Islanders, while Manucho will target the game as his chance to open his account for the tournament.

Angola’s loss against South Africa has made their progression into the quarter finals an unlikely event, as they will need South Africa to draw against Morocco and will need to beat a tough and determined Cape Verde outfit.

Their toothless display against Bafana Bafana will need to be improved on if they are to stand any chance of matching Cape Verde’s hard running style of football. Angola’s misfiring midfield was dominated by South Africa’s combination of Dean Furman and May Mahlangu. The Palancas Negras will target a better performance in the middle of the park, led by Pirolito, Campos and co.

Even if they are able to defeat Cape Verde, the Angolan side side may not qualify for the knock-out rounds of the tournament. If Morocco defeats South Africa, Angola will be on equal points with the hosts but will not qualify due to their loss in the previous game.

Permutations aside, this should be an intriguing match with both teams looking to attack throughout the 90 minutes.  

  • Cape Verde and Angola have played each other on three occasions before this match.
  • Cape Verde have not lost against the Angolans and have secured two wins and a draw against the Palancas Negras.
  • Angola's Manucho is their top scorer in the 23-man squad, after netting 21 times in 38 appearances for his country.
  • Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes met with Jose Mourinho to discuss tactis with the "Special One" before the Afcon kicked off.
  • Angola's best showing in Africa's football showpiece was a quarter-final berth during the 2008 and 2010 editions of the tournament.
  • The two teams were supposed to play a friendly in 2012, but the match was cancelled.