Loading...
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.



Comments

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

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Premier League preview - part 1
Maybe it is a sign of my age, or an indication of how the last two seasons have been for the club I...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref's job becoming more difficult
What you are about to read may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but it’s true.

Segun Odegbami
Sunday's foreign choice
If a foreign coach is undesirable, what makes a foreign assistant acceptable?

Carol Radull
Is this Gor Mahia's year?
Gor Mahia is having a bit of a dream season. A total of 18 games into the season, they are unbeaten.

Sunday Oliseh
Super Eagles job: an uphill task worth taking
It is definitely the most delicate football job on the African continent and the most demanding.

Neil Tovey
Why I answered Safa’s call
I am pleased to have agreed to a deal in principle to serve as Safa’s technical director for the...