Better Than Egypt, Ghana: Cape Verde Becomes 1st Nation To Reach Knockout Stage at 2023 AFCON

Better Than Egypt, Ghana: Cape Verde Becomes 1st Nation To Reach Knockout Stage at 2023 AFCON

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at January 19, 2024 at 4:24 PM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Cape Verde logo
Cape Verde
Cape Verde
Mozambique logo
Ghana logo
Egypt logo
  • Cape Verde thumped Mozambique 3-0 on matchday, topping Group B
  • In the process, the Blue Sharks made it two wins from two games
  • They will face Egypt in their final group game on Monday, January 22

Abidjan- Côte d’Ivoire. Cape Verde became the first nation to reach the knockout phase of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after romping past Mozambique on Friday, January 19.

The Blue Sharks dominated the Mambas, securing their spot in the round of 16 and achieving this milestone from Group B, surpassing Egypt and Ghana, who boast a combined 11 AFCON titles.

Cape Verde, AFCON, Mozambique, knockout, round of 16
Cape Verde took Mozambique to the cleaners, booking a spot in the round of 16 in the process. Photo credit: @CAFOnline.
Source: Twitter

Bebe, the former Manchester United winger, and Kevin Lenini delivered stunning strikes worthy of winning the goal-of-the-tournament accolade, with Ryan Mendes adding another.

Cape Verde romp past Mozambique

The three goals on matchday two position the Islanders at the top of the group despite being considered less likely to advance at the start of the competition.

Bebe's goal, reminiscent of Ronaldinho's iconic strike in the 2002 FIFA World Cup against England, came from a free-kick taken over 40 yards from goal, per Fan Nation.

Captain Ryan Mendes extended the lead before Kevin Lenini sealed the victory with a remarkable goal from outside the box.

The result means that Cape Verde, in their fourth AFCON appearance, maintained a perfect start to the tournament.

Cape Verde seals knockout ticket

With the thrilling 2-2 draw between Ghana and Egypt, Cape Verde is guaranteed to finish Group B as winners, ensuring their place in the knockout phase regardless of the result in their last group game.

This marks the third time the Islanders have progressed to the knockout round after qualifying from the group stages in 2013 and 2021, according to CAFOnline.

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Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.