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Football | Afcon

Lucio Antunes © Backpagepix

Cape Verde coach hits high notes



Cape Verde Islands coach Lucio Antunes burst into song on Sunday after a dramatic 2-1 win over Angola put his team through to the quarterfinals of the African Nations Cup.

Antunes stopped talking at his post-match news conference and suddenly broke into a few bars of 'The Biography of a Crioulo', a Cape Verde song of joy referring to the Portuguese dialect spoken in the islands.

"It is a traditional song. I dedicate it to all the people at home," he said after the Group A match.

Antunes showed he had a melodic voice and was given a round of applause at the end, not just for his singing but also for Cape Verde's stunning achievement in reaching the last eight on their debut appearance.

After scoring twice in the last 14 minutes, they joined hosts South Africa in the quarterfinals and Antunes was delighted.

"We achieved our objective, we knew it was going to be difficult but we kept at it," he said.

"We knew what was happening in the other match between South Africa and Morocco (a 2-2 draw) and that's why I told the team to attack until the end and it paid off. It also started raining and that blessed our effort."

Angola coach Gustavo Ferrin, who made five changes to the side that lost 2-0 to South Africa in their previous match, defended his choices and his attacking substitutions even though his side lost the lead in the closing stages and were eliminated.

"The only option for us was to attack and I did the right thing tactically," he said. "It was a very dramatic ending and I am very sorry we lost.

"We might not have gone through even if we had won tonight but we did not want to lose the game. The only thing I might have done deliberately was pick some taller players to deal with the Cape Verde big men at the set pieces.

"That's how they were going to score their goals."

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