Cape Verde shows no preference for a specific adversary in decisive ACN eliminatory round 18 June 2012
After beating Madagascar this Saturday, Cape Verde has made it to the third and final phase of the eliminatory tournament for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. With the path now shorter than ever before for a never-before-seen qualification for the Africa-wide soccer cup, the Cape Verdean national soccer team will now fight for a place with one of the 16 national teams that participated in this year’s ACN. However, both players and the coach alike say they have no particular preference for a specific adversary in this decisive phase. Indeed, they affirm only that the games are there to be won.
Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Senegal, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Angola, Gabon, Niger, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana, Botswana, Mali and the Republic of Guinea – one of these 16 national teams will end up facing off against Cape Verde in the next phase of the eliminatory tournament for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. All of them are heavyweights and would give Cape Verde a run for its money, although it may be legitimate to affirm that Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso, Angola and Botswana could be within Cape Verde’s reach. It is Cape Verde’s national soccer team coach, LLúcio Antunes, however, who downplays this condition.
“All of the 16 teams are good, like Cape Verde. We’re going to have two games in an eliminatory round that will be tough, with 50% for each side. Now we have to work to be better than our adversary. I hope that this is the time for us to participate in an Africa Cup of Nations,” says the national soccer coach on the heels of Cape Verde’s 3-1 win over Madagascar.
Defensive player Carlitos, who played his second game on the synthetic turf at Praia’s Várzea Stadium, says that Cape Verde will do all it can and “work arduously” to ensure its presence, for the first time ever, in Africa’s top soccer event. “I don’t have any preference as far as adversaries are concerned. We want to be at the ACN, regardless of the opponent,” says the athlete, who currently plays for Limassol in Cyprus.
“We’re hoping we’ll be lucky in the drawing, with a team favorable to Cape Verde. We’re going to go into the two games with the same determination we always do,” says Ryan Mendes, one of Cape Verde’s stars in this weekend’s win over Madagascar.