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AFCON 2021: Cape Verde take aim at wounded Burkina Faso

Cape Verde will go head to head with Burkina Faso in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Group A match at the Stade Omnisport Paul Biya in Yaoundé on Thursday.

Kick-off is at 9:00 pm CAT.

The Blue Sharks got off to a good start in Group A as they secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Ethiopia on Sunday courtesy of Julio Tavares’ goal in first-half’s stoppage time.

Therefore, Cape Verde are placed second on the group standings and a victor over Burkina Faso would take them to the top of the log if the result between Ethiopia and Cameroon goes their way.

Humberto Bettencourt, Cape Verde’s assistant coach, felt that they played their best football against Ethiopia and he also believes the team is on the right track.

“I would like to dedicate this victory to all the players and the technical staff who participated in our qualification for this TotalEnergies Afcon and who could not come,” Bettencourt said.

“I also dedicate it to all the Cape Verdeans who support us. We are happy with our collective performance and also the distinction of Rocha as Man of The Match. Three important points for us for the race to the qualification in the next round.

“We knew the quality of the Ethiopian team and that helped us during the preparations. We took advantage of the spaces in the middle of the field and played our best football to get the points for the victory. ”

Meanwhile, Burkina Faso are licking their wounds at the moment after suffering a slender 2-1 defeat to tournament hosts, Cameroon in a Group A game on Sunday.

The Stallions are currently placed third on the group standings, but a victory over Cape Verde would revive the West African side’s hopes of reaching the Last 16.

Bertrande Traore, the Burkina Faso captain, believes that they were let down by their own mistakes against Cameroon and that they can bounce back to winning ways against Cape Verde.

“This is not the result we wanted. We wanted to start the tournament well or at least secure a draw. But this is the Afcon finals and we have to accept it. Overall, we played well,” Traore said.

Read Also: Ethiopia seek AFCON solace for war-hit country

“We did not handle the game well. We paid the price for our mistakes. We made mistakes and they affected the team. We couldn’t hang on to our lead.

“We paid the price. I know we have a lot of quality and talent in the team. We will have to look for a way to be able to bounce back in the second game.”

The last meeting between Cape Verde and Burkina Faso was on 14 November 2017.

Burkina Faso hammered a hapless Cape Verde side 4-0 in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier at the Stade du 4 Août in Ouagadougou.

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