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Cape Verde a surprise package

Published on: 31 January 2013

When South Africa President Jacob Zuma pulled Cape Verde out of the pot during the Africa Cup of Nations draw last October, the audience at Durban’s International Convention centre laughed out loud.

The loud laughter meant one thing: the Blue Sharks would not make a meaningful charge at their maiden tournament.

Fast forward to today and with Group A finalised, Cape Verde are through to the quarterfinals and had a laugh of their own in Port Elizabeth on Sunday evening following their 2-1 win over Angola.

The spirited display from the Islanders belied the fact that this is their debut campaign in the continental showpiece.

Fernando Valera and Heldon Ramos scored the goals for Lucio Antunes’ men.

Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques said the progression by the Islanders had not caught him by surprise.

“I believed in them because most of their players play in Portugal which is one of the best leagues in the world,” the Portuguese-born coach said.

“They are exposed to a high level of football and that’s why I think they were bound to do well.”

Marques said the other strength at the centre of Cape Verde’s progress was the “outstanding team spirit” in the camp.

“They have some wonderful morale going on and it is bearing good fruit,” he said.

This kind of team spirit, according to Marques, is similar to that which saw Zambia win last year’s edition of the tournament.

“Definitely, it’s the same kind of camaraderie in the camp that sees them dominate,” he said.

But Marques distanced himself in terms of predicting whether the Blue Sharks would reach the final. “With a bit of luck,” he said.

Marques’ opinion was not echoed by Orlando Pirates’ assistant coach Eric Tinkler, who spent six years of his career playing in Portugal.

Tinkler said they would not make it beyond the quarterfinals.

“I think their luck will dry out in the quarterfinals,” Tinkler said.


This article has 7 comment(s), give your comment
  • Dr Who says:
    January 31, 2013 11:30 am
    Eliminating Cameroun by Cape Verde and qualifying from their group wasnt a fluke afterall but the quater finals will be their last stop.
  • kuukuphilly says:
    January 31, 2013 12:50 pm
    Full stop indeed.not by our expense.
  • Dr Who says:
    January 31, 2013 01:36 pm
    I just watched Cape Verde vrs Angola and their match against morocco.Their trade mark is counter attacks and their players are good headers of the ball.AA should take note!
  • Joojo says:
    January 31, 2013 01:53 pm
    There we go again till we get "one on the nose", and then the blame game starts! This time around, you can't blame "foreign" coach, or injuries and quarrels among the players or even juju! Don't forget , " Arrogance always precedes the fall"! Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kingsmen (Ghanaians).......! BEWARE BS AND ALL THE BEST!!!
  • bawah says:
    January 31, 2013 03:43 pm
  • African Consciousness says:
    February 01, 2013 04:34 am
    My table and standing got messed up by the paragraph indentation but you can get the general picture Cape Verde has zero points from 2 games played.
  • African Consciousness says:
    February 01, 2013 04:31 am
    Group B Team MP W D L GF GA Pts Tunisia 2 2 0 0 5 2 6 Sierra Leone 2 1 1 0 4 3 4 Eqtrl Guinea 2 0 1 1 3 5 1 Cape Verde 2 0 0 2 2 4 0 Coach Appiah, the Black Stars and Technical Team this is the real Cape Verde. World Cup Qualifying is important and Cape Verde are at the bottom of the table. This team is over achieving in the AFCON 2013 make sure the Black Stars bring out the real Cape Verde on Saturday. This team is not as good as Ghana period. They must be put in their place just like Niger. I am not suggesting that just by showing up on the field the Black Stars will be awarded the 3 points. There must be sweat, team work and hard work from the first whistle till the final whistle blows. There must not be one moment of complacency but this tiny minnow must be swallowed up by the Black Stars. This Chorkor rascal must be chewed up and swallowed up by the Black Stars. This little minnow must not be allowed to derail the Black Stars quest for the HOLY GRAIL of African football. Gabon & Equitorial Guinea belonged to Zambia, they won by drawing on the tragedy of the past and we sympathized with them. AFCON 2013 belongs to Ghana we must win clear and clean, no ghosts, no Juju and no bribery. Ghana will win by working together and displaying beautiful football the fruit of the hard working colt football, the fruit of the football Academies, the fruit of hours of kids playing in playground and parks all over the country. Nima, Bukom, Teshie, inter houses, inter schools, leagues all over the country. This is a result of hard work blood sweat and tears not Juju but the science of football, not by bribery but by years of young boys honing their skills and by a Sports Ministry that is willing to invest money to develop Ghana football and participation in U17 and U20 football competitions, Olympic competitions. A great and outstanding FA with foresight and vision. The fortunate 11 selected by Coach Appiah must play the beautiful football that Ghana is known for, keep the ball on the grass, maintain possession by playing short accurate passes. Players must be disciplined enough to play within the team structure and formation. Attack together and defend as a unit. Black Stars must play for the good of the team and not be selfish. They must play to vindicate their country's good name and honor. On Saturday the Black Stars will expose the bottom of the table Cape Verde. Go Black Stars!