Cape Verde vs. Mauritania AFCON Preview

Cape Verde vs. Mauritania AFCON: preview, prediction, team news, lineups

Cape Verde aims to equal their best performance in the Africa Cup of Nations as they face Mauritania in a round of 16 match at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium on Monday.

Match preview

One interesting aspect of Cape Verde’s performance in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is their ability to achieve results in different ways.

Bubista’s team scored a late winner against Ghana, won against Mozambique due to better finishing, and showed resilience to earn a draw against Egypt in their final group match.

Their ability to score late goals indicates that Cape Verde never gives up until the final whistle, which is advantageous in knockout matches.

Having never advanced past the quarter-final stage, Bubista’s side could match their 2013 performance by defeating Mauritania and securing their first victory in the knockout rounds of the competition on Monday.

In the 2013 finals in South Africa, Cape Verde scored three goals, but they have already surpassed that tally with four goals in AFCON 2023. The fact that the goals have come from different players adds to their unpredictability.

For Mauritania, this game is a historic occasion as the Lions of Chinguetti have never played a knockout match in the tournament before. They secured their spot in the round of 16 with a surprising 1-0 victory over Algeria in their last group match.

Amir Abdou has proven himself as a skilled coach, taking underdog teams like Comoros to the last 16 in the previous finals. His ability to organize a compact side gives Mauritania a chance against any opponent as they aim for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Despite losing 3-2 to Angola, the Lions of Chinguetti became the third team to reach the knockout rounds after losing their first two matches in the competition, joining DR Congo (2019) and Comoros (2021), the latter being managed by Abdou.

It remains to be seen whether Mauritania will adopt a compact approach like in their tournament opener against Burkina Faso or a more attacking style like in the loss to Angola. However, they cannot be underestimated in tournament football.

Cape Verde Africa Cup of Nations form: W W D

Cape Verde form (all competitions): D W L W W D

Mauritania Africa Cup of Nations form:L L W

Mauritania form (all competitions): L D D L L W

Team News

Garry Rodrigues and Bryan Teixeira have scored crucial late goals for Cape Verde in their previous matches. Bubista’s tactical changes during the game could influence the outcome in favor of the Blue Sharks.

Bebe, who got injured in the victory over Mozambique, is uncertain for Monday’s match and may not feature for the Group B winners.

Abdou’s team can rely on Aboubakary Koita, who showed excellent ball-striking ability against Angola, and his dribbling skills were evident as he completed the most successful take-ons in the group stage.

Ibrahima Keita and Omare Gassama were the most active in making tackles for the Lions of Chinguetti, highlighting their controlled aggression without the ball.

Mohamed Dellahi Yali, who scored the winning goal against Algeria, is also uncertain for Monday’s match due to an injury suffered in the 1-0 victory.

Possible starting lineups

Cape Verde: (4-3-3)

Vozinha;

Moreira, Costa, Lopes, Paulo;

Duarte, Pina, Monteiro;

Mendes, Tavares, Cabral

Mauritania: (4-1-4-1)

Niasse;

Keita, El Abd, Ba, Abeid;

Gassama;

Bouna, Thiam, Mouhsine, Koita;

Anne

Prediction: Cape Verde 2-0 Mauritania

Despite Abdou’s coaching skills, Mauritania is unlikely to stop Cape Verde’s strong attacking lineup. The Blue Sharks have the advantage and are expected to secure their first-ever knockout victory.

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