Cape Verde beat 10-man Ethiopia in a tight contest in Group A

Cape Verde started off the Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win over Ethiopia. The 33-year-old forward, Julio Tavares, gave his team the victory in the additional time of the first half.

The experienced striker of the Saudi Arabian’s side, Al-Faisaly, connected to a pass from Garry Rodrigues and had the easiest task to send the ball into the empty net. Cape Verde’s midfielder, Kenny Rocha Santos, was the most creative player on the pitch, thus earning him the Man of the Match Award.

Ethiopia was down to 10 men early in the match when Yarred Bayeh was sent off for a reckless tackle in the 12th minute. He stopped Julio Tavares right outside of the penalty box as he was going 1-on-1 with the goalkeeper. This somehow predetermined their fate as the team didn’t manage to reach to a clear goalscoring opportunity throughout the whole game.

Cape Verde missed some decent chances in the second half, but their efforts came up just short. The Blue Sharks didn’t allow any surprises in the remaining minutes, closing out the game 1-0. Ethiopia would need to level up their game, if they want to make a statement in their first AFCON appearance since 2013.

This result put Cape Verde into 2nd place falling behind Cameroon by total goals scored. The Blue Sharks will face Burkina Faso on Thursday as a win over their opponents will send them directly into the Knockout Stage.

The Ethiopian’s side will look for an upset over the hosts from Cameroon. Even with a loss against the Indomitable Lions, they will still have a chance at advancing further into the Tournament.

Not only the first two teams from each group qualify, but also the best four third-placed squads will be given a green card for the Round of 16. This would mean that just a single victory might even be enough for the teams to qualify.

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