Group A’s second match between Cape Verde and Ethiopia ended one-nill in favour of the Blue Sharks. After some controversial moments in the first half that saw Ethiopia reduced to 10-men when Yared Bayeh Belay was sent off impeding the goalscoring opportunity as the last man in Ethiopia’s backline.
The Blue Sharks started the game on a brighter note, pushing their opponents at every angle and forcing them to defend deep. It did not take long before Ethiopia was played into danger with Yared having to force to stop a Cape Verde attack when Tavares was through on goal. The referee initially showed a yellow card but after consulting with the Video Assistant Referee pitchside monitor, he upgraded the punishment to a red card, ending Yared’s participation in the match and handing a numerical advantage to Cape Verde.
Garry Rodrigues and Tavares terrorized the Ethiopian defence with the only factor limiting the number of goals conceded by the Walias being the inspired Teklemariam Shanko. The goalkeeper stood his ground to make important stops to keep the score level but was powerless in stopping the first half extra-time goal by Tavares.
Ethiopia stood firm to maintain the one-nil scoreline in the second half but could not find a way back into the match. They are now facing the possibility of an early exit unless they step up in their next match against Cameroon who dispatched Burkina Faso 2-1 through Vincent Aboubakar’s two first-half penalty goals.
Cape Verde meanwhile will face a wounded Burkina Faso also on Thursday in the second match of the day. Cape Verde is without their coach who is in quarantine after contracting Covid-19. Some of his players are also isolating. Meanwhile, Burkina Faso coach Kamou Malo is also in quarantine alongside some of his players after they tested positive for Covid-19.