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South Africa face fairy tale boys Cape Verde

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South Africa
South Africa players join Evidence Makgopa in celebrating his goal against Morocco. PHOTO/CAF
  • South Africa beat favourites Morocco in the round of 16
  • They are seeking their second AFCON title
  • Cape Verde are seeking a first ever semis ticket

South Africa head coach Hugo Broos has challenged his players to play with the same confidence and swagger as they prepare to face off with surprise package Cape Verde in the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Yamoussoukro.

Having eliminated tournament favourites Morocco, Bafana Bafana proved themselves as one of the teams to watch in the tournament, and the confidence gathered is pushing them ahead.

South Africa tactician Broos has however warned his players not to underestimate the islanders who are playing their second ever quarter final match, saying they are capable of causing a surprise.

“We will be ready for the game. We don’t underestimate Cape Verde because if you look at how they are playing and their results, it tells you they are a strong team,” the tactician said, speaking ahead of the game.

He adds; “They are not the same team as Morocco with all the high-quality players who play in big teams in Europe, but what I saw, I think we don’t have to underestimate them. They have quality, it is a team with disciplined players on the pitch. They know their roles, it’s difficult to play against them.”

South Africa not past quarters since 2000

South Africa

South Africa players celebrate their win over Namibia. PHOTO/CAF

South Africa have not made it past the quarter finals since they finished third in 2000, and the coach says they are ready to make their own little history.

“We are confident but on the other side, we know it will be tough. We are ready to go out and win,” the coach noted.

Having been one of the surprise packages at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, Cape Verde is looking to continue with their fairy tale run at the tournament when they take on South Africa in the quarter finals.

Meanwhile, Cape Verde head coach Pedro ‘Bubista’ Brito says the team is well prepared for a tough duel against the Bafana Bafana, and reckons his players have massive confidence from their terrific run.

“We are fit and well prepared as we can to realize victory; we took some rest and all the players are in good shape, we rested enough,” the coach said in the pre-match press conference.

He adds; “To reach the semi-final, we need to work well and unite as a team. We can only win if we work together as a team. We have a good mindset in the squad, good morale, and support too; because of that, we’ll do all we can to bring more joy to the country.”

Cape Verde respect South Africa

CAPE VERDE

Cape Verde players celebrate one of their three goals against Mozambique. PHOTO/CAF

He says they have respect for Bafana, but do not fear them.

“No we are not scared, we’re not scared at all, there’s no fear. We have the experience. We’ve played South Africa before and defeated them,” says the coach.

He expects a competitive but explosive match and says they are focused on making more history for their country.

Cape Verde have never made it to the semis, and this is only the second time in their history they have played at the quarter finals.

They have qualified for the AFCON quarter finals for the second time in their history after edging out a resilient Mauritania side by a solitary goal in the round of 16 in Abidjan. Can they go on to make another piece of history? Only 90 minutes, and maybe additional time and penalties, will tell.

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