CAN 2015 – Cape Verde Lost Out On Goal Difference

 Fin de CAN sous la pluie pour le Cap Vert et la ZambieCape Verde were eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea on Monday after a dour 0-0 draw against Zambia in a match hit by a tropical storm.

Tunisia won Group B and the Democratic Republic of Congo finished second after they drew 1-1 in port city Bata at the same time.

The Blue Sharks finished level on points and goal difference with DR Congo but lost out because they scored only one goal in three matches while the Congolese managed two.

Torrential rain, strong winds with thunder and lightning made the pitch impossible for entertaining football. Zambia created a stoppage-time chance to snatch victory and a spot in the last-eight but Mukuka Mulenga shot wide. A scrappy first half ended goalless with neither team creating a clear-cut scoring chance at Estadio de Ebebiyin in the north-east of Equatorial Guinea.

Zambia had a chance to shock Cape Verde just after the half hour mark after Carlitos was yellow-carded for fouling Evans Kangwa just outside the penalty area. Lubambo Musonda struck the free-kick at the defensive wall.

Rodrigues with his first start of the tournament for Cape Verde, was involved in two close shaves for Zambia just before half-time. His free-kick found Toni who should have done better than heading over from point-blank range on 44 minutes. Again in the second minute of stoppage time, his free-kick sailed across the goalmouth and wide of the far post.

Conditions deteriorated considerably during the break and the second half began with a water-logged pitch created only this month with grass imported from Spain.

Fortunately the rain eased, but the match had become a lottery with water spraying each time there was a tussle for possession.

Cape Verde substitute Djaniny got a sight of goal just inside the box midway through the half but slipped on the slippery surface and the ball was cleared out of danger.

Chipopolo had a good chance to end the deadlock in the 78th minute only for substitute Patrick Ngoma and Kangwa to miss a low Chisamba Lungu cross.

Thus, Cape Verde lost a valuable spot in the last eight on goal difference and headed home.

By: Jammeh E.K. Bojang