Dala Scores Twice As 10-man Angola Reach AFCON Quarter-Finals

Agency report

Dark horses, Cape Verde have beaten Mauritania 1-0 to qualify for the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire.

Ryan Mendes’ 88th-minute penalty was the difference as the Blue Sharks, who have been one of the surprise packages of the tournament, stunned a cross-section of Mauritania fans at the Felix Houphourt-Boigny, Abidjan.

The tiny Atlantic Ocean island nation had got out of their group in two of their three previous appearances at the AFCON but had never before won a knockout tie.

Mauritania had been hoping to extend their fine run in Ivory Coast, after they won a Cup of Nations match for the first time in nine attempts in their last group game, beating Algeria to eliminate one of the continent’s powerhouses.

But a side coached by Amir Abdou, who took tiny Comoros to the last 16 in Cameroon two years ago, will go no further after failing to find a way past Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha.

The Chinguetti Lions will look back with regret at one fine chance just before the hour mark when Souleymane Anne was played into a great position inside the box only to put his shot over.

Cape Verde looked the more likely team as the minutes ticked down, and Mendes came very close to scoring with a header from a corner that was well saved by Mauritania goalkeeper Babacar Niasse.

They were then awarded a penalty when substitute Gilson Tavares Benchimol was brought down in the box by Niasse after intercepting a poor header back from Mauritania defender Yassin El Welly.

The Egyptian referee pointed to the spot, and Mendes, of Turkish side Fatih Karagumruk, smashed home the penalty, his second goal of the tournament making history for his country.

AFP

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