Cape Verde into Africa Cup quarterfinals after late penalty vs Mauritania
Mon, Jan 29, 2024
Soccer News (AP)
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) - Ryan Mendes scored a late penalty for Cape Verde to make Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals after topping Mauritania 1-0 on Monday.
Mendes scored from the spot in the 88th minute after Mauritania goalkeeper Babacar Niasse brought down substitute Gilson Benchimol, who was through on goal after a defensive mistake.
It was Mauritania's first ever Africa Cup game in the knockout stage. The Lions of Chinguetti defeated Algeria 1-0 last week for their first ever win on their third appearance in the tournament.
Cape Verde made a better start but failed to really trouble Niasse.
Roberto "Pico" Lopes marshalled the Blue Sharks' back four and produced an important tackle to stop Sidi Bouna Amar with Mauritania's best chance of the first half in the 42nd.
Souleymane Anne had an even better chance midway through the second half, but he was unable to make the most of Sidi Amar's through ball.
Cape Verde finished strongly as the Mauritanians tired from their exertions. Ibrahima Keita was their second player stretchered off in the 80th after Omare Gassama in the first half.
Cape Verde surprisingly won a group that included heavyweights Ghana and Egypt.
The Blue Sharks, who also reached the quarterfinals in 2013, will next play Morocco or South Africa, who play their last 16 match on Tuesday.
Host Ivory Coast and defending champion Senegal were playing later Monday in Yamoussoukro. Ivory Coast barely reached the knockout round thanks only to results in other groups. It also fired its coach and tried unsuccessfully to hire another.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccerCIARAN FAHEY Fahey is a Berlin-based reporter for The Associated Press, covering sports in Germany and beyond. twitter instagram mailto "