Garry Rodrigues of Cape Verde
Wednesday Jun 10, 2015. 14:14
Cape Verde will begin their quest to qualify for a third successive Africa Cup of Nations when they host Sao Tome and Principe in their opening Group F match in Praia on Saturday, kick-off at 19h00 CAT.
The Blue Sharks finally broke into the AFCON club in 2013 when they made their debut in South Africa, impressing with a quarterfinal appearance.
Earlier this year the islanders made their second appearance at the continental tournament, and although they were unable to progress beyond the group stage, coach Rui Aguas’ men once again demonstrated why they are one of the most improved sides in African football in recent years.
In Sao Tome and Principe they face minnows who have never qualified for the Nations Cup. Their campaign in the 2015 preliminaries came to an end in the first round playoffs when they were beaten 4-0 on aggregate by Benin.
Cape Verde will have to do without the injured Ryan Mendes, but the likes of Heldon, Julio Tavares and Babanco have more than enough quality to see them to a positive result at home.
The other Group F match this weekend sees Morocco host Libya in Agadir on Friday night.
Egyptian referee Mahmoud Ashour will take charge of the fixture in Praia.