Thursday Mar 25, 2021. 12:04
Cape Verde will be aiming to ignite their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) hopes when they host Cameroon at Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia on Friday.
Kick-off is at 18h00 CAT.
The Blue Sharks go into the match having yet to register a single win after four rounds of fixtures, after four successive draws. As a result, they sit level on four points with Mozambique in Group F, a point behind Rwanda who currently occupy second spot following their win in Kigali on Wednesday.
Cameroon, who have already qualified for next year’s tournament by virtue of being hosts, sit top of the group on 10 points with three wins and a draw from their allotted matches.
The Indomitable Lions are set to be unable to call upon several key players for Friday’s tie due to Covid-19 restrictions. Head coach Toni Conceiçao will reportedly be without Fulham midfielder André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and several French-based players due to ongoing challenges amid the global pandemic.
Furthermore, Bayern Munich forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will miss back-to-back matches against Cape Verde and Rwanda following an administrative blunder.
All considered, preparation for this month’s qualifiers have been far from ideal for the five-time Afcon champions, but Vincent Aboubakar, who is set to don the captain’s armband, is taking everything in his stride.
“We know what we have come here to do,” said Aboubakar. “Unfortunately with the Covid-19 situation, a lot of players are missing but thank God there are local based players who are available and who will have to take on the role of other players.
“When you’re with the national team, the goal is to win and that’s what brings us here. We’re on a good run and it’s up to us to try to do well in the FIFA rankings. All games are important to us. If we want to prepare well for the future, we have to win the matches that will follow. We are very happy to be in the group. We are living our dream,” the Turkish-based forward added.
Cape Verde held Cameroon to a 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture hosted in Yaounde in November 2019.
The top two nations in each group advance to the 24-team finals hosted in Cameroon next year.