(Sporting Alert) — Cape Verde has been the surprised package in the Africa Cup of Nations this year, and debutantes are hoping to cause a shock against Ghana in their quarter-finals clash on Saturday.
Watch Live Cape Verde v Ghana Live Streaming on ESPN3.com
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Date: Saturday 2 February
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live TV coverage on Eurosport and ITV
Cape Verde upset the odds to finish second in Group A behind South Africa, but remains the underdog for the game at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Ghana heads into the contest firm favourites to book a semi-finals slot and coach Kwesi Appiah has warned his team against complacency ahead of the game.
“I have drawn their attention to the fact that Cape Verde can be a threat and it is important that they all focus on them and take each game as it comes,” Appiah told GhanaFa.org.
“We need to do extra work and the players need to fight more than what they’ve done already.”
The Black Cats easily topped Group B with seven points from two wins and a draw, but Appiah knows it’s only get tougher from here on.
The coach is also worried about the never say die Cape Verde side, claiming that it will be a challenge playing against them.
“I would have been more comfortable facing the Ivory Coast to be honest,” he said.
“When you are playing a team with nothing to lose, then it is difficult because there is no pressure on them. That is the fear in me.
“Cape Verde are a side similar to Mali, which was our toughest group game. They are disciplined and good defensively.”
Heldon, who scored a stunning last minute goal to guide Cape Verde to a 2-1 win over Angola and he could very be handed a starting play on Saturday.
Coach Lucio Antunes is reporting no new injuries.
Meanwhile, captain Nando is looking to the contest, claiming that there is no pressure on his team.
He said: “There will not be pressure on my team. Why would there be?
“People don’t tell us we have to win the cup. Nobody expects anything from us. If we beat Ghana, we would be 50% of the way to winning this competition.”
Nando added: “Ghana have to win this match. All the pressure is on [them].
“My players can just enjoy being on the pitch one more time, to prove that Cape Verde has good players.
“I really believe that we could beat Ghana. They are a very, very strong team, but when the referee blows his whistle to start the match, we have a chance.”
PREDICTIONS AND TIPS
Cape Verde 5/1