PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AFP) –
Cape Verde’s fairy-tale run in the Africa Cup of Nations continued Sunday when they qualified for the quarter-finals thanks to a 2-1 win over Angola in a final-round Group A match.
Cape Verde finished on five points to advance along with hosts South Africa, who drew 2-2 with Morocco in Durban, and topped the table thanks to a better goal difference.
Morocco and Angola were eliminated.
The west African islanders overcame mighty Cameroon to debut at the finals of Africa’s showpiece football event, where they again impressed with draws against hosts South Africa and Morocco before coming from behind to beat the Angolans.
Angola were rewarded for their offensive play after 33 minutes when Amaro delivered a cross and Mateus put Neves under pressure with the ball coming off the Cape Verde skipper and into his own net.
Cape Verde restored parity in the 81st minute when Gege headed home after sustained pressure on Angola and Heldon won the game in the 90th minute as he fired home a rebound after Lama could not hold a fierce shot.
The Black Antelopes of Angola took the game to Cape Verde from the first blast of the whistle, using the wings and long balls.
It was scrappy opening, but Angola were first to settle and continued to attack.
But after eight minutes the outstanding Ryan Mendes’ chipped shot from outside the box came close to giving Cape Verde the lead against the run of play.
In the 12th minute, Manucho again threatened with a header off a free kick as Mateus on the right flank and Djalma on the left became a constant danger to their opponents.
Angola’s lead on 33 minutes seemed to spark the Blue Sharks to life on a cold, windy night in this Indian Ocean city.
Big striker Julio Tavares came close with a header in the 36th minute.
A minute after the resumption, another Tavares’ header was kept out on the goal-line by an Angolan defender as Cape Verde continued to mount pressure.
Manucho was unlucky to see his low drive from inside the Cape Verde goal area beat the goalkeeper but come off the foot of the post after 52 minutes.
Cape Verde continued to press forward and Heldon’s free kick was not held by the diving Lama in the 65th minute.
Angola substitute Yano fired from an angle at goal in the 86th minute, but it screamed wide of the target before Cape Verde delivered the killer blow.
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