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Africa Cup of Nations

  • January 23, 2013
  • • 18:00
  • • Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
  • Referee: J. Sikazwe
  • • Attendance: 25000

Morocco-Cape Verde Preview: Islanders out to prove their mettle once more against motivated Moroccans

Morocco-Cape Verde Preview: Islanders out to prove their mettle once more against motivated Moroccans


Both sides have been working on their potency in the final third during preparations for the crucial Group A tie and are aiming to secure their first win of the tournament


South Africa 

Chakir, Benatia, El Adoua, El Kaoutari
El Kaoutari
Hermach, El Ahmadi
Amrabat Belhanda, Assaidi
El Hamadoui

Carlitos, Ricardo, Nando, Gege

Verela, Dady, Rony, Silva

Mendes, Djaniny

Cape Verde will need to muster an improved performance in front of goal against Morocco on Wednesday night if their debut Africa Cup of Nations tournament is to progress any further.

Neither side have cited any injury concerns on the eve of the match, with both expected to turn out in full force at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

The Islanders came close to upsetting hosts South Africa in the opening game of the tournament, with some gilt-edged chances missed by their forwards leading to the match ending in a dreary 0-0 draw.  

The team was able to hold off a nervous and incoherent South African side, but should have taken the three points off the hosts, who kept giving Cape Verde possession and chances to build towards goal.

Lucio Antunes believes his side can score against Morocco and has put the opening game at the back of his mind when he told reporters on the eve of the match, “Playing against South Africa has passed, it is now preparing for the game with Morocco to try to score.”

Eventually the Islanders seemed content with a draw against Bafana Bafana but will be targeting an improved performance against a dangerous Moroccan outfit, who were left frustrated with their performance against Angola in another 0-0 draw on the opening day of the tournament.

Morocco coach Rachid Taoussi spoke on the eve of the match and concluded that his side spurned numerous opportunities against Angola and will have to focus on finding the target against a steely Cape Verde outfit.

“As you know, we are not efficient enough, we don't make the most of our opportunities and in this coming match we know we will have opportunities to score. But in order to do that, we need to focus, we need to work to reach our goal, which is to score," Taoussi told reporters.

Midfielder Nordin Amrabat echoed his coach’s words and believes that Morocco will win their second match of the tournament when he said, “We prepare in a normal way, like the first game. We train well, the moral is good and the atmosphere is good. And we train a lot on the tactics, and for us we are ready. The exercise is easy; we must win and take the three points."

Both sides have focused their preparations on finishing chances, with Taoussi working on Morocco’s set plays and his team’s efficiency in front of goal.

Abdelaziz Barrada, who was largely quiet but proficient throughout the opening game against Angola, will want to improve on his performance by controlling the game against Cape Verde, while the Islander’s talented attacker Ryan Mendes will be confident in his ability to find a vital breakthrough for the elusive debutant outfit.

  • This will be the first meeting between the two sides in their history.
  • The two goalless draws in Group A seemed to have set a trend for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, as there has only been one win and five draws so far.

  • The opening 0-0 draw between South Africa and Cape Verde meant Cape Verde picked up their first point in their first Afcon tournament.
  • Morocco, beaten finalists in 2004 and winners in 1976, believe they have the team capable of reaching the final in 2013.
  • Morocco lost their first leg encounter against Mozambique 2-0 on their road to the finals, but were able to overturn the result with a 4-0 victory at home.
  • Cape Verde, 70th in the Fifa World rankings, are the highest ranked team in Group A.

Players to watch

A. Barrada

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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  • 0
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Barrada was able to control the midfield against Angola and he will search for a similar performance against Cape Verde, who play a hard running game which means that whoever can dominate the middle of the park will be a vital aspect of the game.

Ryan Mendes

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
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Mendes is Cape Verde's go-to attacking talent and he showed his ability to run at defences against South Africa, which makes him the Islanders most dangerous player on the pitch.

Editor's Prediction

Morocco should have enough in the tank to overcome Cape Verde, but it will not be an easy win for the Moroccans due to Luis Antune's tactical nuance and the belief the Islanders play with.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Cape Verde Islands


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Morocco MAR
Morocco Morocco
Cape Verde Islands CPV
Cape Verde Islands Cape Verde Islands

Top 3 Predictions

Morocco MAR
2 - 0
Cape Verde Islands CPV
Morocco MAR
2 - 1
Cape Verde Islands CPV
Morocco MAR
1 - 0
Cape Verde Islands CPV