Cape Verde aim to banish Senegal blues

Cape Verde will look to bounce back in Group D of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers when they host Burkina Faso in Praia on Saturday evening. The match will be staged at Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde.

The Island nation’s group stage campaign got off to a losing start last month when they were beaten 2-0 by Senegal in Dakar, with Keita Balde and Moussa Sow scoring the goals for the Teranga Lions.

The Burkinabe also had a less-than-perfect start to Group D, as they missed two penalties and needed a late equaliser from Banou Diawara to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to South Africa in Ouagadougous.

Blue Sharks coach Lucio Antunes has called on the people of Cape Verde to turn out in numbers at the stadium and continue to believe in his team’s mission to qualify for a first World Cup. 

“We have the same will to win, the same inner strength and the same spirit group and union of all Cape Verdeans,” explained Antunes.

"I appeal to all to continue to believe in this team, these players, because in the recent past we have made beautiful things. We want to make beautiful things for this country,” he added.

The Stallions coach Paulo Duarte expressed his belief that the West Africans can reach the World Cup in Russia 2018, but their home draw with South Africa was a blow to their hopes.

In preparation for this clash, the Portuguese manager will be looking to the likes of Aristide Bance, Jonathan Pitroipa, Charles Kabore, Bertrand Traore and Bakary Kone to see Burkina Faso to an away victory.

Cape Verde and Burkina Faso have met in four official international matches according to FIFA’s statistics, and the islanders hold a 100 percent win record. This includes two qualifiers for the 2006 tournament in Germany, with the Blue Sharks winning 1-0 in Praia and 2-1 in Ouagadougou.

The other Group D match this weekend sees South Africa host Senegal in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon, kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

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