Afcon: Cape Verde have high hopes
Some may call it ambitious, others far-fetched. Cape Verde want to reach the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in their first attempt.
This was the bold message from coach Lucio Antunes at today’s press conference ahead of their second game of the tournament against Morocco at Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow evening.
Antunes said they were inspired by their goalless draw with the hosts, South Africa, on Saturday and now their aim was to continue where they left off and reach the final.
He said the draw against Bafana Bafana has motivated the team to go the extra mile and they believe this is achievable.
“The result of the first game was good for us and it gave us motivation to score more points so we can reach the final,” said Antunes.
But Antunes would be aware of the fact that Morocco is miles ahead of Bafana and the Atlas Lions will give his side tougher competition than Bafana had offered.
He conceded that it would not be easy against Morocco, which he called the best team in the group.
He said they would be without two players – Fernando Valero and Babanco – after they got injured in the game against Bafana. But Antunes said they have capable replacements.
He said the secret behind the success of his team was team spirit and passion.
“We play with respect and dignity because we want to make our country proud and make it known worldwide, and we have the opportunity to do so.”
Vice-captain Heldon Ramos said he was impressed with the organisation and the standard of the tournament.
“The first impression has been good and our mission is to go back home with the best results. It was good to be involved in the opening game and the result motivated us to go the extra mile,” said Ramos.
Kickoff is at 8pm.