AFCON 2023: Pharaohs without inspirational captain face tournament's shakers, Blue Sharks of Cape Verde

Posted : 22 January 2024

Except that the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde want to claim bragging rights over the Pharaohs of Egypt, they have nothing to lose in this last dead rubber fixture.


The Blue Sharks of Cape Verde surprisingly become the first team to qualify for the knockout stage of the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) in Cote D'Ivoire.


While only a few might have given the Blue Sharks a chance to defeat the supposed big boys of the tournament and qualify without dropping points in their first two matches, especially with an emphatic win over the Mambas of Mozambique.


The Pharaohs of Egypt will look to secure a place in the knockout stages of AFCON when they face off against Cape Verde in their final group-stage match at Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium.


With both matches in Group B kicking off simultaneously, the Pharaohs will see this as a must-win fixture, having only managed to earn two points from their opening two matches in the competition.


The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has already been incredible for Cape Verde, and it is far from over, as they are assured of a place in the knockout rounds regardless of the outcome of this match.


The Blue Sharks got their cup campaign off to a dream start as they overcame a sloppy Ghana side 2-1, thanks to a dramatic stoppage-time winner from Ankaragucu forward Garry Rodrigues.


That gave Cape Verde a somewhat unexpected lead in the group standings after matchday one, but they followed that up with an even better performance last Thursday when they comprehensively overcame Mozambique 3-0 to secure the top spot with a match in hand.


Bubista's side's victory over The Mambas was just their fourth-ever victory at the AFCON and was also the first time that the team had ever won consecutive games in their history in the competition.


The Blue Sharks of Cape Verde are not under pressure in this match, as they have already cemented their place, but they may still want to claim another big scalp against Egypt to announce themselves as leaders heading into the knockout stages with incredible momentum.


Egypt has struggled to make an impact, especially after missing their inspirational captain Mohammed Salah due to injury as they played to a 2-2 draw against group outsiders Mozambique in their opening match last Sunday.


In the next match, The Pharaohs recorded another 2-2 draw, this time against Ghana, and many may argue that the point they received was somewhat fortuitous, with errors from The Black Stars contributing significantly to the final outcome.


Prior to those results, Egypt had not conceded more than a single goal in 11 AFCON matches, and it was the first time that they failed to win their first two matches in this competition since 1992.


The Pharaohs are now in a precarious position as they could find themselves knocked out of the competition if they lose here and one of Ghana or Mozambique wins the other match in the group, which kicks off at the same time as this one.


Egypt has only ever failed to make it to the knockout stages once in their last 12 appearances in this competition, and their task will be that much more difficult without the services of their captain Mohamed Salah.


For Egypt, the major talking point is around the exclusion of Salah, who sustained an injury against Ghana in the last match and is expected to miss at least the next two matches for Egypt, provided they qualify from the group.


The absence of the Liverpool talisman could see Mostafa Fathi take his place, as he did after Salah was withdrawn in the last match, while Trezeguet will also be pushing for a starting role after a bright cameo off the bench last time out.


It is left to be seen who will take the next flight to the knockout stage among the trio, Egypt, Ghana, and Mozambique.

 

 

ADD A COMMENT :

Hot Topics

Best Odds Center
best odds centre button
Click here!
Live TV
watch live tv button
Click here!
to watch
10 Bet button
10 bet watch button
Click here!
Live Scores
play watch Live Score button
Click here!
close button
Please fill captcha :