Africa: ‘We Believe,’ Say Giant-Killers Cape Verde, As Afcon Quarterfinal Clash With Bafana Looms

Cape Verde’s Blue Sharks have never reached the semifinals of Afcon, while Bafana Bafana haven’t reached the mark since 2000.

South Africa take on Cape Verde on Saturday evening in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarterfinals, with the winner playing Nigeria or Angola in the semifinals next week.

For Cape Verde, a small island nation off the west coast of Africa with a population of about 600,000, reaching the quarterfinal stage is already an incredible achievement. The accomplishment ranks alongside their best performance at Afcon — they were knocked out by Ghana at the same stage in 2013.

That tournament, hosted in South Africa, was the first time Cape Verde had qualified to play in Afcon.

Their first Afcon appearance was the opening match of the tournament — against Bafana Bafana, which they drew 0-0. They went on to shock Angola 2-1 in their final group-stage match to qualify for the knockouts.

They have taken their giant slaying up a level in the 2024 edition of the tournament.

Positioned alongside African behemoths Egypt and Ghana in Pool B, Cape Verde topped their group, beating Ghana 2-1 before drawing 2-2 with Egypt. Sandwiched in between was a 3-0 thrashing of Mozambique.

Underdogs

Cape Verde maintained their momentum from the group stage, narrowly overcoming Mauritania 1-0 in the round…