Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Bafana Bafana

Nando © Backpagepix

Cape Verde revel in underdog role

Debutants Cape Verde Islands are reveling in their role of underdogs at the African Nations Cup and the prospect of playing in Saturday's opening match, said captain Nando.

"It's a thrill for our players to get a chance to play in such a big stadium and in front of so many people," the defender said before his side face hosts South Africa at Johannesburg's National Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 87 000.

"We are not favoured because we have a young and inexperienced side," Nando added as the smallest ever national to compete at the African championship wound up their preparations. "But it's a challenge for us."

The small island archipelago has a population of just over 500 000 and are surprise qualifiers for the finals with a team of journeymen footballers from lower-profile clubs in Europe.

"We have Cape Verdians from many other countries but they have a common will and purpose. There is a lot of quality and a lot of competition for places in the team."

Coach Lucio Antunes said Nations Cup qualification had come after years of hard work by federation officials and players.

"This has been an evolutionary process," he said. "We've also found players with more respect for the country and what it takes to achieve on the field."

Cape Verde qualified by upsetting four-time winners Cameroon in the final qualifying round in October.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref Webb confirms PL meddling
Referee Howard Webb has admitted that there was definitely interference from the PL.

Segun Odegbami
Mamelodi Sundowns - so near yet so far
Mamelodi Sundowns are on the verge of history, as they are within touching distance of what has...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Klopp has Mourinho in his sights
One of the most iconic images of the last season was the reactions of Jamie Carragher and Thierry...

Sunday Oliseh
Does the best coach always rule?
When Pep Guardiola was coach of Barcelona, a spell that lasted four years, Barcelona were near...