27 January 2013

Cape Verde/South Africa: Cape Verde Strike At the Death to Go Through

Photo: Luigi Bennett/Backpagepix
Fernando Varela of Cape Verde scores with a header, helping his team make history by qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in their first Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Cape Verde booked a historic place at the quarters of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations beating Angola 2-1 on Thursday in Port Elizabeth.

An improved second half performance from the Blue Sharks saw them come from behind to stun Angola in their final Group A match amidst drama.

Midfielder Ramos Heldon scored the winner at the death after Varela Fernando had cancelled Danny Massunguna's first half opener for Angola.

The debutants never looked back and pushed on till they got the equalizer and eventually the winner in a match of equals.

The first ever meeting between two Portuguese in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations got off to a good start with Cape Verde having a first chance at goal. On eight minutes, Mendes Ryan was unlucky to see his curling effort from close range miss target narrowly.

Angolan midfielder Campos Djalma was a constant threat to the Blue Sharks with his runs on the flanks. Angolan tested the Cape Verde defence on 12 minutes, and Gilberto's free-kick met Manucho's header, but it went off.

The Palancas Negras pressed on and were dangerous with the set pieces due to the aerial advantage of Manucho.

On 33 minutes, Angola went up through Danny following a one-two with Djalma before his cross was diverted in by Cape Verde goalie Dias Josimar.

The Palancas Negras held on to the lead but it was Cape Verde who resumed strongly in their quest to draw parity. Less than a minute into the second half, Angolan survived an attack by the Islanders with Danny clearing the ball off the line.

After several unsuccessful attempts at goal, Cape Verde got the equalizer nine minutes from time through Varela against the run of play.

The Islander kept pressuring and it was only a matter of time that the opener would come. It did come at the death through Heldon, who slammed in a rebound after Lama spilled Julio Tavares effort unto his path.

Cape Verde finished behind South Africa on five points apiece and will face the second team from Group B at the quarters.

Orange Man of the Match: Ramos Heldon (Cape Verde)

Samsung Fair Player of the Match:Airosa (Angola)

Post match reaction: 

AngolaGustavo Ferrin (Head Coach, Angola)

"We had a great first half. In the second half, Cape Verde resorted to aerial balls and it worked for them. When the scores was one-all, we knew a draw was not enough for us, so we pushed more men upfront for the kill and they scored from the counter. I'm very disappointed but my players gave their best."

Lucio Antunes (Head Coach, Cape Verde)

"Our objective has been accomplished. We came here to win and did just that. We had a good game and the players showed determination throughout the game. I'm very happy for my players and they deserve the victory."

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