Cape Verde will be contesting the second quarter-final in their history. The Blue Sharks defeated Mauritania in the last 8 of the AFCON 2023 on Monday January 29. Captain Ryan Mendes scored the winner from a late penalty.
Cape Verde qualifies for the quarter-finals
Cape Verde advances to the quarter-finals of AFCON 2023. The Blue Sharks overcame Mauritania thanks to Ryan Mendes’ penalty goal in the final minutes of normal time. This Round of 16 match took a long time to get going. The first half was completely chaotic. However, the Blue Sharks showed themselves to be more dangerous in front of goal, without being realistic enough to open the scoring. The Mourabitounes showed great intensity, winning 37 duels, but struggled to trouble the Cape Verdeans. Mauritania also lost defender Omare Gassama to injury.
In the second half, the two teams went at each other blow for blow, but were still lacking in the final touch. Cape Verde had the better chances, however. As the game drew to a close, the Requins Bleus applied pressure in the Mauritanian box. Cabral shifted in front of the box and unleashed a powerful shot, but Mourabitounes goalkeeper Babacar Niasse made a tremendous save (77th). From a corner, Cape Verde captain Ryan Mendes headed in at the near post, only to be denied again by Niasse. The Blue Sharks attacked and were rewarded with a penalty. Elwely headed the ball to Niasse, who was fouled in the box. As captain, Mendes put the ball in the back of the net and qualified his team for the quarter-finals of the AFCON 2023.