Cape Verde faces South Africa in the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Saturday evening. Cabo Verde are playing in their second AFCON quarter-final whilst Bafana Bafana were eliminated at this stage in both 2013 and 2019.
Cape Verde Form
Cape Verde qualified for AFCON 2023 with a game to spare, before losing 3-2 away to Togo in a dead rubber in September 2023. After two more losses in friendlies, they began World Cup 2026 qualifying with a 0-0 home draw vs Angola. A 2-0 win away at Eswatini followed.
In this tournament, Cabo Verde have been superb. They scored late to beat Ghana 2-1 and then beat Mozambique 3-0. A last-gasp goal earned them a 2-2 draw vs Egypt in the final group game. In the round of 16, they beat Mauritania 1-0 with 69% possession and 18 shots.
Cape Verde Team News
Coach Bubista has a clear best XI which he has used in all matches except the Egypt draw. Despite both Bryan Teixeira and Garry Rodrigues scoring off the bench in this tournament, neither is set to play this match.
Former Man Utd striker Bebe will lead the line. Gilson Benchimol Tavares will settle for a place on the bench in this one.
Cape Verde Motivation
Confidence is very high in the squad right now. They fear no one and have nothing to lose.
Cape Verde will play a possession-based style with their lowest ball share in the tournament being 47%. They won’t park the bus and show South Africa any fear.
South Africa Form
Bafana Bafana didn’t come into the tournament in top form having lost 2-0 away to Rwanda in a World Cup qualifier before a 0-0 home draw vs Lesotho on the eve of the AFCON. After losing to Mali in their opening match, they looked in trouble.
Three strong results and performances have since followed. They thrashed Namibia 4-0 without allowing their Southern African neighbours a single shot in the second half. A 0-0 draw vs Tunisia was comfortable and secured second spot in the group. Last time out, they beat Morocco 2-0 in a tactically disciplined performance.
South Africa Team News
Bafana Bafana have used an unchanged XI for the last three matches. Hugo Broos is not expected to make any alternations to his starting lineup.
Grant Kekana and Mothobi Mvala will form the defence in preference to Siyanda Xulu. Percy Tau will play down the left wing once again.
South Africa Motivation
Broos has had success in this tournament by playing a pragmatic style. Expect to see plenty of longer passes and not much interest in possession.
Bafana will believe they can win in 90 minutes and won’t play for extra time.
Cape Verde have lost just once in 7 matches
Cape Verde have seen Both Teams to Score NO in 5 of their last 7 fixtures
South Africa’s last 6 matches have only seen one team on target
South African have kept 3 clean sheets in a row
South Africa’s last 13 AFCON matches have seen them score more than 1 goal on just 2 occasions
Based on the stats, not many goals are tipped in this one. I expect this match to be tight with extra time required to find a winner.