Cape Verde joined hosts South Africa in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Angola at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday evening.
A first half own-goal from Cape Verde captain Nando had put the Sable Antelopes in charge, but late strikes from Fernando Varela and Heldon saw the Blue Sharks to their first victory in the Afcon and secured a place in the next round, as Bafana Bafana drew 2-2 with Morocco in a concurrent game in Durban.
Angola were the first to threaten a goal, as captain and star striker Manucho headed just wide of the far post from a 12th minute free kick. The Sable Antelopes dominated the opening 20 minutes, but it was soon the turn of the Islanders to begin to find a foothold in the game and pose some tough questions for their opponent’s defence.
On 33 minutes Angola finally scored their first goal of the tournament and took the lead. Gilberto whipped in a low cross from the left flank that was sliced into his own net by Cape Verde defender Nando.
The Blue Sharks almost came up with an immediate reply, as Babanco’s free kick was flicked just wide of the target by Julio Tavares in the 36th minute. A short while later Angola goalkeeper Lama had to palm away a well-hit drive from Platini.
Cape Verde introduced both Heldon and Djaniny at the start of the second half and nearly forced an equaliser soon after the restart, with Julio Tavares seeing a goal-bound header cleared off the line by Manucho Dinis.